I recently read a story in the Deseret News, “The walls (and the vacuums) have eyes! How Big Tech watches us.” The article got me thinking about tech companies’ surveillance and data collection capabilities, which is concerning. I don’t want my Google Home or Ring doorbell recording and listening to everything I say and do; that’s just freaky. That’s why I’m grateful to Rep. John Curtis for proposing legislation to enhance and protect consumer privacy. 

The bill, Informing Consumers About Smart Devices Act, requires smart device manufacturers to disclose to consumers that their device contains a camera or microphone. A smart device is any technology that connects to the internet and helps users complete daily tasks, such as a smartphone or tablet. Curtis’ bill, however, does not apply to smartphones or tablets because it’s assumed these devices would have a camera or microphone installed. This bill mainly concerns smart appliances like the Roomba vacuum mentioned in the Deseret News article. 

As a college student who relies on technology daily to complete schoolwork and make life easier, I am very pro-technology and couldn’t imagine my life without it. But there is a big difference between technology helping consumers and technology helping giant corporations collect and sell user data. I am thankful 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