Illinois bill banning eavesdropping by IoT devices defanged by tech lobby

By Sean Gallagher

Illinois' Senate had a bill that would ban devices from eavesdropping without telling you. But the Internet Alliance made sure the bill as passed would have no teeth.

Enlarge / Illinois’ Senate had a bill that would ban devices from eavesdropping without telling you. But the Internet Alliance made sure the bill as passed would have no teeth. (credit: NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

On April 10, the Illinois State Senate passed the “Keep Internet Devices Safe Act,” a bill that would ban Internet device manufacturers from collecting audio from Internet-connected devices without disclosing it to consumers. But the bill was substantially neutered after a fierce lobbying effort by an industry association backed by Amazon and Google.

The bill passed on the heels of Amazon’s admission that the company sometimes sends copies of audio clips captured by its Echo devices to offices around the world for transcription by employees—something not mentioned in Echo’s terms of service or FAQ pages.

The bill as passed by the Senate states:

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Posted on: April 11, 2019

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