Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz took to the Senate floor Tuesday to push for his bipartisan legislation mandating companies disclose whether household appliances are spying on people.
Cruz delivered a speech on the Senate floor requesting unanimous consent to pass the Informing Consumers about the Smart Devices Act, a bill he introduced with Democratic Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell that would require manufacturers to inform consumers if devices such as refrigerators, washers, dryers, dishwashers and other household appliances have microphones or cameras on them. (RELATED: ‘Astonishing’: Ted Cruz Torches Biden Admin For Cocaine ‘Cover-Up’)
WATCH starting at 1:58
“But with any technological advancement, there can be trade-offs. And for smart devices, one of the potential trade-offs is our privacy. In Texas, we become very aware of that cost. The past few years, smart thermostats have allowed electric companies to control the temperature in your own home from afar in the name of conserving energy. Furthermore, a lot of Americans don’t realize or expect that the growing number of smart household devices and appliances have cameras on them, and microphones that can surreptitiously record families and transmit data,” said Cruz, who serves as ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee.
“Now, I’m sympathetic to the argument that there are too many mandates from government, and that many of the mandates are unnecessary, and burdensome and costly. But requiring a manufacturer to tell you if they’re spying on you does not fall into that category. And I have to say in assessing the minimal burden, the disclosure burden, against the harm, I fall down on the side of individual liberty. I fall down on the side of privacy,”Cruz added.
Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul rejected Cruz’s request for unanimous consent.