BIG TECH COMPANIES ATTACK ILLINOIS BILL PROHIBITING REMOTE ACCESS TO USERS’ MICS

The Daily Caller | 4/10/2019 | Staff
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Google and Amazon are opposing an Illinois bill that would effectively prohibit big tech companies from remotely accessing users’ microphones.

The Internet Association and other trade organizations that represent the three major tech companies — Facebook, Google, and Amazon — criticized SB 1719 in a press statement Wednesday, arguing that the bill is vague and unnecessary given that federal law already prevents such action. The bill prevents third-party actors from gaining remote access to people’s devices.

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“Provides that no private entity may turn on or enable, cause to be turned on or enabled, or otherwise use a digital device’s microphone to listen for or collect information, including spoken words or other audible or inaudible sounds, unless a user first agrees to a written policy meeting specified criteria,” the bill notes.

The so-called Keep Internet Devices Safe Act is vague in its description, according to the Internet Association’s statement. “The definition of ‘user’ does not make it clear who should receive notice. Microphones cannot distinguish voices and thus cannot and thus cannot determine who is the user and who is the owner of the device.” the statement reads.

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