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California Committee Commands TVs to Protect Privacy

The California State Assembly's Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee has approved a billby a vote of 11 to 0, to make sure consumers have control over the voice-recognition feature in newer TVs that can allow their conversations to be shared with third parties to determine their personal tastes.

That is according to Committee chairman Mike Gatto (D-Glendale), who sponsored the bill.

He said that the bill will require that a TV's voice-recognition feature can't be enabled without the consumer’s knowledge and consent and prohibits manufacturers from using recorded sounds for other than the use approved by the consumer. That way, says Gatto, it preserves the voice-command function, but would prevent the scenario of a family "discussing financial issues and finding themselves receiving targeted commercials from bankruptcy attorneys as they watch their favorite show.”