The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton is expected to introduce a bill that would limit how smart device manufacturers such as Amazon and Google can collect your data.
The Automatic Listening and Exploitation Act, or the ALEXA Act for short, would empower the Federal Trade Commission to seek immediate penalties if a smart device is found to have recorded user conversations without the device’s wake word being triggered. Moulton’s bill also addresses smart doorbells and their video capabilities.
Multon said: “Smart speakers and doorbells are great, but consumers should have a way to fight back when tech companies collect more data than Americans have agreed to give up. More broadly, Congress should give Americans a bigger say in the data that companies collect. It’s time for a next generation of digital privacy laws, and it can start by holding corporations to their own privacy commitments.”
The bill would allow the FTC to seek up to $40,000 in penalties from the offending company per infraction. Customers who have these devices and services could also request these companies to delete any voice recordings, transcripts, or videos created and collected by these devices.
“The point is that Congress has been asleep at the switch here,” Moulton said. “There’s some industry forces in Congress that are preventing some members from moving forward with regulation, so we took the matter into our own hands with this bill.”