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Germany denies plans to use smart home devices for spying

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Christian Fernsby |
Minister Horst Seehofer
European businesses   Minister Horst Seehofer

The German government didn't have plans, and is not currently having any plans, to use smart home devices such as Amazon's Alexa device for spying purposes, German interior minister Horst Seehofer said Friday at a bi-annual conference of the interior ministers of Germany's federal states.

A resolution passed during the conference said that the German government would "not create new legal bases for criminal prosecution" with regard to such digital devices, according to Seehofer.

It would rather be a question of "clarifying the situation regarding the implementation of the existing legal basis in the Federal Republic of Germany", Seehofer said.

The resolution had caused concern over the possibility that German authorities would be granted concessions with regards to obtaining and analyzing the data from online devices.

A first draft of the resolution was rejected by Germany justice minister Katarina Barley (SPD) whose ministry sent the draft back to Seehofer.

In response, Seehofer assured that the German government did not intend to "monitor children's rooms", install "chips in baby dolls" or use Alexa to wiretap people.


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