ALEXA AND THIRD PARTIES’ REASONABLE EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY

54 Am. Crim. L. Rev. Online 58

Raphael Davidian* 

Under current Fourth Amendment doctrine, when someone takes a deliberate step to install a microphone in her home with knowledge that her interactive data will be transmitted to a third party, she has no reasonable expectation of privacy. But a more nuanced question arises when someone who is not the device owner is recorded without consent, and the recording is requested without a warrant. This piece will discuss Alexa’s role in a recent murder trial and how the device could have potentially recorded and stored incriminating evidence. The discussion will follow with an inquiry into whether existing state consent laws can be reconciled with the existing third-party doctrine in order to match the privacy expectations of visitors to an Alexa-enhanced home.

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