Could your high-tech gadgets send you to jail?

Feel like no one ever really listens to you?

Your gadgets do. That may not always be a good thing.

Most recently, an Arkansas death investigation highlighted how the magic of Amazon’s Echo device — its ability to act on your voice commands — means it might have overheard conversations critical to a murder investigation.

That case could ultimately lasso Amazon’s cloud of remote computer storage into court fights. The results hold implications for the many ways technology’s romp toward ubiquity poses a growing threat to privacy.

It also acts as a reminder that buying a so-called smart speaker such as the Echo — or its chief competitor, Google Home — is like plugging Big Brother into your living room.

Those computerized sound systems are just the latest listeners to the party.

Your smartphone already mines mountains of personalized data (note how many apps seek access to your contacts, location, camera and microphone). The resulting cache of information creates a defining dilemma of the Digital Age.

The more bits about your life you share with your gadgets, the better help you’ll get from Siri, from your Fitbit, from your Google searches.

Yet in maximizing that functionality, you leave untold digital bread crumbs that could someday be used against you by an angry former lover, by some ransom-seeking East European hacker, by the cops.

“There’s always a gap between when people lose their privacy and when they realize they’ve lost it,” said Jay Stanley, a technology policy analyst for the American Civil…

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California News
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