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Matt Stoller
Well, this is interesting. Apparently Amazon and Google came out swinging against this Illinois bill saying a company is not allowed to remotely turn on a microphone without the owner’s permission.
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Matt Stoller Apr 10
Replying to @CastroforIL22
Here are the Amazon/Google talking points against the bill barring tech platforms from secretly recording you in your home. Talking points are laundered through the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and tech trade associations.
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Matt Stoller Apr 10
Replying to @matthewstoller
This is my favorite talking point against the bill barring undisclosed remote activations of microphones by tech platforms. "The language allows for company terms of services agreements to be void and unenforceable even if a failure to disclose is deemed accidental."
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Matt Stoller Apr 10
Replying to @matthewstoller
To be fair, what about Google's and Amazon's right to hear every private conversation? It's super uncool to make trillion dollar companies feel left out.
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Matt Stoller Apr 10
Replying to @matthewstoller
There are definitely interesting questions about how to define who gets to consent. If you're in my home and you are recorded by a microphone I've consented to use, what does that mean? Then again, there are one party consent states for phone recordings, so this is not hard.
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Matt Stoller Apr 10
Replying to @matthewstoller
Seems like the secret microphone bill was gutted. No private rights of action, no ability to hold a manufacturer liable (even if Google secretly puts a microphone in Nest products). What it seems to require is an additional few paragraphs on an unreadable click-through agreement.
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Too Big To Fail Apr 10
Replying to @matthewstoller
It seems like they have a legitimate complaint against the statute as written -- if I have an Echo in my home, I have consented through the terms of use to have the microphone turned on if I use its wake word. But if I invite somebody over to my home, they haven't consented.
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Too Big To Fail Apr 10
Replying to @matthewstoller
Seems weird that Amazon can be sued because I have a dinner party and one of my guests happens to be telling a story about their coworker, Alexa Smith.
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Matt Stoller Apr 10
Replying to @Too_Big_To_Fail
Yes, I would also vehemently oppose the bill you made up in your head.
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Too Big To Fail Apr 10
Replying to @matthewstoller
"Provides that no private entity may turn on or enable... a digital device's microphone to listen for or collect information... unless a user first agrees to a written policy meeting specified criteria." Unless the statute specifically defines "user" in such a way that it...
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Too Big To Fail Apr 10
Replying to @matthewstoller
...would be limited SOLELY to the person who initially sets up the microphone, and specifically excludes any other "user" who might trigger the microphone by saying the wake word within its listening area, then the dinner-party example is completely valid.
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antialiased Apr 10
and it doesn't. A user is literally "a person who . . . otherwise uses a digital device."
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Too Big To Fail Apr 10
Under this statute as written, Amazon would be violating the law in my home right now -- I have a number of Echo devices in various rooms, which I use. My wife also uses them, but since they're tied to my account and I set them up, she never agreed to the terms of service.
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Matt Stoller Apr 10
"unless a user first agrees to a written policy meeting specified criteria." --> Seems like your concerns can be addressed easily through contract, no?
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Glenn Robinson Apr 10
Replying to @matthewstoller
This is where you know 100% when $$ is swaying a politician’s position. There is no other reason anyone would support having the mic turned on remotely to collect info...
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Rob Levine Apr 10
Replying to @matthewstoller
Weird that it specifies microphones but not cameras
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Rob Levine Apr 10
Replying to @matthewstoller
Maybe that's illegal under existing law?
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Nora Apr 10
Please don't let tech companies ruin this bill ! Protect our privacy!
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