How to protect your privacy from smart device cameras | Opinion

I recently read an article in the Deseret News: “Walls (and vacuum cleaners) have eyes! How Big Tech looks at us. The article got me thinking about the surveillance and data-gathering capabilities of tech companies, which is concerning. I don’t want my Google Home or Ring doorbell to record and listen to everything I say and do; it’s just weird. That’s why I’m grateful to Rep. John Curtis for proposing legislation to improve and protect consumer privacy.

The law project, Educate consumers about the Smart Devices Act, requires manufacturers of smart devices to disclose to consumers that their device contains a camera or microphone. A smart device refers to any technology that connects to the Internet and helps users accomplish their daily tasks, such as a smartphone or tablet. Curtis’ bill, however, does not apply to smartphones or tablets as it is assumed that these devices would have a camera or microphone installed. This bill primarily affects smart devices like the Roomba vacuum mentioned in the Deseret News article.

As a student who relies on technology daily to complete her school work and make her life easier, I am very supportive of technology and couldn’t imagine my life without it. But there’s a big difference between technology helping consumers and technology helping big companies collect and sell user data. I am grateful that Utah has a representative in Congress who understands where the line is and is willing to fight for our privacy.

Seodam Kwak

Salt Lake City

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