A new Senate bill is aiming to inform consumers about the potential for their household appliances to record conversations and track people inside their homes.
The “Informing Consumers about Smart Devices Act” is targeting smart devices, such as refrigerators and televisions, that are capable of recording conversations and transmitting data via Wi-Fi.
The bill has already passed the U.S. House and is now awaiting a full Senate vote.
Republican Senator Ted Cruz and Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell are co-sponsors of the new legislation.
“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,” said Cruz. “I’m proud to help author this bipartisan solution to help safeguard the privacy and security of American homes.”
Cantwell also expressed her support for the bill, stating that while most consumers expect their refrigerators to keep their food cold, they don’t expect them to record their most personal and private family discussions.
Smartphones, laptops, and other interactive devices are not covered by the bill, as users are generally aware of their recording abilities.
The use of smart devices for surveillance purposes has been a concern for many years.