Today, US Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Chair of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, and Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, introduced the Notify consumers of the Smart Devices Act.
The bill would require the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to create reasonable disclosure guidelines for products that have audio or visual recording components, such as refrigerators, washers, dryers and dishwashers that are not clearly visible. Many consumers do not realize that there is an increasing number of devices and household appliances that include cameras and/or microphones that can record them and also include Wi-Fi’s ability to transmit data without their knowledge.
“Over 84 million households are expected to have smart devices by 2026 – providing connectivity and control over everything from your air conditioner to your air conditioner,” said Chairman Cantwell. “However, most consumers expect their fridges to keep milk cold, without recording their most personal and private family discussions. I am pleased to work with Senator Cruz on a bill that will ensure consumers know if their home appliances can invade their privacy.”
“American consumers should be aware when their appliances and everyday technology products have the capacity to record them via microphones and cameras – not to mention the ability to transmit via Wi-Fi. I am proud to help write this bipartisan solution to protect the privacy and security of America’s homes,” Sen. Cruz said.
The text of the bill can be found here.