WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) introduced the Earning Approval of Voiced External Sound Databasing Retained on People (EAVESDROP) Act, a bill requiring smart device manufacturers to notify consumers if their devices record unsolicited conversations outside of when consumers ask their devices to listen or perform a task, and provide consumers the choice to opt out of that capability. This legislation gives Americans greater control over smart devices in their homes and requires manufacturers to be more transparent about what their devices do and the information they collect.“Consumers have a right to know whether their conversations are being recorded in the privacy of their homes. They shouldn’t have to fear that their smart devices are recording and collecting sensitive personal information without their consent. Big Tech must be more transparent with the American public about the capabilities of their devices. I’m proud today to introduce the EAVESDROP Act to give consumers more control over their privacy, especially as more electronic devices are listening to their conversations,” said Whip Scalise.“In this modern age, our homes have become full of internet-connected devices capable of discretely collecting personal information. While this unrequested intrusion into consumers’ private lives has occurred for years, Americans will now have an ally looking out for their interests as Rep. Scalise is taking action to give individuals a say in how, when, or if this happens. Americans should not have to worry about speaking in hushed voices in their own home, and we applaud Rep. Scalise for acting to restore a sense of privacy,” said Garrett Bess, Vice President, Heritage Action for America.“Congressman Scalise’s EAVESDROP Act addresses Americans’ concerns about what devices in their homes and cars are listening to and gives users control as to how that information can be stored and used. While a device does need to listen for a ‘wake word’ to be effective, companies should not constantly record, collect and process the ambient noise surrounding millions of Americans in their homes without their knowledge. These devices can make our lives easier, but private conversations are private. People need to know precisely what is being heard and collected and have the option to opt out of practices they find invasive,” said Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform.“We applaud the leadership of Representative Scalise in introducing the EAVESDROP Act. This bill would empower users of voice-activated technologies such as smart speakers by allowing them to opt-out of ambient noise recording. While the precise scoping of the proposal warrants further discussion, including the frequency of notices and the definition of covered technologies, this bill is an excellent starting point. We particularly appreciate that it strikes a delicate balance between empowering consumers and avoiding innovation-stifling regulations. The EAVESDROP Act recognizes and reflects current industry best practices in the standards it sets, using existing deceptive practices authority at the Federal Trade Commission for effective but not over-reaching enforcement. Its safe harbor provision also creates room for industry to lead without absolving government of its responsibility. Overall, the bill uses thoughtful and innovative mechanisms to put technology users in charge of their experiences,” said Chris Riley, Resident Senior Fellow, R Street Institute.  Background on the EAVESDROP Act: