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Sens. Cruz, Cantwell Co-Author Consumer Protection Bill on Recording Smart Devices

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Chair of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, introduced the Informing Consumers about Smart Devices Act.

The bill would require the 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 obvious. Many consumers don’t realize the growing number of household devices and appliances include cameras and/or microphones that are capable of recording them and also include Wi-Fi capability to transmit data without their knowledge.

Upon introducing the bill, Sen. Cruz said:

“American consumers should be aware when their appliances and everyday tech products have the capability to record them through microphones and cameras – let alone the ability to transmit through Wi-Fi. I’m proud to help author this bipartisan solution to help safeguard the privacy and security of American homes”

Upon introducing the bill, Sen. Cantwell said:

“It’s estimated that by 2026, over 84 million households will have smart devices – providing connection and control over everything from your air conditioning to your air fryer,” said Sen. Maria Cantwell, Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. “Yet, most consumers expect their refrigerators to keep the milk cold, not record their most personal and private family discussions. I’m happy to work with Senator Cruz on a bill that will ensure consumers know whether their household appliances are capable of invading their privacy.”

Text of the bill can be found here.