Smart devices under watch: US House passes Curtis bill on consumer protection

Yesterday, the United States House of Representatives passed the Informing Consumers about Smart Devices Act, introduced by Representatives John Curtis (R-UT) and Seth Moulton (D-MA). Following passage, Congressman Curtis made the following remarks:

“This common sense and bipartisan bill ensure consumers are aware of the recording capabilities of items they are putting in their homes, while also balancing flexibility for companies who are developing smart technologies,” said Representative Curtis. “I am grateful to my colleagues for helping pass this important legislation and look forward to its eventual passage in the Senate.”


The bill aims to protect consumer privacy by requiring 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 obvious. The legislation addresses concerns that many consumers may not be aware of the growing number of household devices and appliances that include cameras and/or microphones that are capable of recording and transmitting data without their knowledge.

The Informing Consumers about Smart Devices Act has received support from a broad coalition of consumer advocacy groups and technology companies. Companion legislation in the Senate was introduced by Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.).