Police departments across the U.S. are starting to realize how invaluable today's smart devices may be in fighting crime and saving the lives of the innocent. In a recent case, Amazon released data recorded by its Echo device related to a murder case. Now a Google Home speaker has prevented a violent domestic dispute incident by calling 911 after hearing the altercation between the couple.

Police alerted to violent domestic abuse after Google Home alerts 911 dispatchers

Police officers responded to a call placed to dispatchers where they could hear the shouting and arguments that were taking place inside the house from which the call was placed.

The incident took place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and showcases how invaluable these smart home based appliances has become.

Police said that Eduardo Barros was home sitting with his girlfriend and their daughter at the residence when the argument started and as it progressed Barros pulled out a handgun. He asked his girlfriend :"Did you call the sheriff?" This prompted the Google Home to pick up on the Call the sheriff part and led to it dialing 911.

After police arrived at the residence, they negotiated with the man for hours and were able to take the man into custody peacefully. They reported that the girlfriend had signs of injury but did not have any severe wounds. Their daughter was completely unharmed as a result of the altercation.

Police spokesperson claimed that it was a lucky break for the department and that the Google Home had probably saved the life of the woman. Barros, who has been arrested previously on felony charges, was charged with possession of a firearm, aggravated battery and aggravated assault against a household member. He was also charged with false imprisonment.

Are smart speakers invading privacy?

Even though this particular instance helped police to do their job and probably saved a life, people would likely be worried by the incident. The data sought from Amazon's Echo device by the police in relation to murder charges may provide them with recordings of the house that the Smart Speaker was placed in.

It indicates that these devices may be keeping a record of everything the user says or does.

People should especially be worried how these devices may be invading the privacy of their homes, in which they are being used. The smart speakers are also reportedly very easy to trigger as some TV advertisements have already proven how this can be done. For instance, in January a program regarding dollhouses triggered the Amazon Echo to start ordering dollhouses without the permission of the users.