House-sitters be aware, an UNKNOWN smart speaker can call the police!


Developing story … It is NOT the article that is important here, but how media outlets are quick to jump to conclusions that smart speakers are “always listening”…

Original ABC story has been updated; an earlier version named a smart home device that was not the type found in the home and credited by police with calling 911.


July 7th…

July 9th…

July 10th…


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So google home dialed 911 without the person using the wake word?


I call BS…literally…I tried those exact words and nothing happened…The wake word is less concerning…I am sure it heard OK Google…the call Sherriff part is highly unlikely from the Google Home device…One interesting thing that DID happen when I was doing this is when I actually said “ok google” my phone woke up and DID ask me who I wanted to call…While the Google Home said “I can’t make phone calls yet”…

Another more realistic possibility is that some (real) heard the commotion and simply called the police…I am in an HOA and I know THAT happens all of the time.


Hmmm, the abc news article that this one is based on now makes no mention of which smart home device, and there is a correction at the end of the article:

Editor's note: This story has been updated; an earlier version named a smart home device that was not type found in the home and credited by police with calling 911.

I agree this is starting to sound fishier.


literally, so you think an actual bull crapped out this story :slight_smile:

Fake News…:slight_smile:


Did you see the foot note? “This add was brought to you by Amazon team, as no other smart speaker should have free calling features”

The part I really liked was this…

“there are perhaps other troubling implications at play here. One such concern is that the Google Home is listening to and recording much of what is being said inside your home, even things said by people who may not be aware that the device is there.”

Ummmm yeah…

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Yeah, if I got into an argument with Alexa or my ST hub I guess it would call the cops…

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Fake news, nothing to see here.

Another possibility is that maybe she was preparing to call and had her phone on, google assistant hears “call sheriff” and dials the number.

Will not be a good thing when home automation assistants start making calls on their own accord.


Here’s my guess (just a guess)… The victim had the sheriffs on speed dial on her phone and tapped it during the argument. Then after the sheriffs arrived she denied having called them intentionally to keep from further angering the assailant.

And the story snowballed from there because of something written in the police report.


This is very interesting watching how media outlets are picking up a clearly fake news alert and injecting their own twist of things to blame the smart speakers…Here is Gizmodo yesterday…

…and CNET…

“The unexpected use of this new technology to contact emergency services has possibly helped save a life. This amazing technology definitely helped save a mother and her child from a very violent situation,” Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales III told ABC News.

The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

It’s unclear what sort of smart home device was found in the house."


They don’t know s**t - the legend goes, the assailant actually brought his smart speaker with him and had just finished setting it up, so that he could request that the speaker give him his machete. That’s when the villainous smart device called the cops instead of providing said chopping tool. And they lived happily ever after.

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This is the actual transcription of what went down:

Members in the house: screaming and yelling along with

“I’ll ask ya one more time, did you sleep with Dominic!?!?”

With a reply of

“Yes, it was so easy!”

Alexa: Would you like to place your easy order with Dominos?

More screaming and yelling, Yes! No! Shut up! Bleep bleep bleep!

Alexa: I’m sorry, I didn’t understand that.

Someone then yelled, you don’t spend any time, you don’t share wif me!"

Alexa: Do you want me order a pizza or call the sharewiff?

Cursing and yelling continues.

Alexa: The sheriff will be here in 30 minutes or less, and the kitchen window is open. Would you like anything else?


Is that CNN’s or Fox News’ version? :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:


From a much more reliable source:

…and Daily Dot comes out with this:

“Early reports claimed the device was an Amazon Alexa-powered speaker, but Amazon confirmed with the Daily Dot that its speakers are not able to call 911. Google Home, another smart speaker named in reports, is also not yet capable of making calls.”

I think Flipboard thinks I am obsessed with this story, as every time I check my news feed it serves me another article about this…