California bill targets personal conversation-recording smart TVs

California bill targets personal conversation-recording smart TVs

A California lawmaker is pushing a new bill that would warn consumers that their smart TVs could record their household conversations and transit the information to a third party without their knowledge.

State Assemblyman Mike Gatto said he was very surprised to read in a Samsung smart TV user manual that the TV could capture and share household sensitive information with a third party in users turn on wireless recognition.

Gatto, a Democrat from Glendale, thus authored the first-of-its-kind bill in the nation to rein in so-called smart TVs.

AB1116 will require TV manufacturers to explicitly inform their customers that their TVs could record private conversations. It would also prohibit the companies from selling stored information to a third party.

Samsung declined to answer questions pertaining to the issue, but claimed that it values consumers’ privacy. The company said in a statement, “Protecting our consumers' privacy is one of our top priorities. Our TVs are designed with privacy in mind.”

The first legislation of its kind has already been unanimously passed by the state Assembly. Now it is heading to the full Senate to be considered before the Legislature finishes on September 11, 2015.

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