STATEMENT: We support the Informing Consumers About Smart Devices Act

Media Contacts

Earlier this year, Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Maria Cantwell, ranking member and chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, respectively, introduced the Informing Consumers About Smart Devices Act (S. 90). The bill would require manufacturers of everyday products such as refrigerators and power tools to disclose to consumers prior to purchase if the product is equipped with a camera or microphone and can transit data.

The proposed bill is aimed at protecting consumers in this world of rapidly evolving technology.

In response, Teresa Murray, Consumer Watchdog at U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, said:

“When consumers buy everyday products such as microwaves or power tools or light bulbs, we deserve to know whether they could be spying on us with a camera, microphone, Wi-Fi or geolocator. Much of the information collected about us today gets added to mysterious databases. These databases get hacked or sold with alarming frequency, and this is part of the reason millions of people fall victim to fraud every year.

“Smart products can be great and can make our lives easier. But when we open a box and plug something in, we shouldn’t have to worry about who else we just allowed into our homes without our knowledge. Consumers deserve transparency. U.S. Public Interest Research Group enthusiastically supports the Informing Consumers about Smart Devices Act. We appreciate the leadership of Sen. Cruz, Sen. Cantwell, Rep. Curtis and Rep. Moulton on this important issue.”