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house Bill H.R. 1164

Restricting Monitoring Technology in Home Media Devices

Argument in favor

Consumers should have the choice of whether or not they want their media devices to monitor them, and be able to be aware of when the devices are doing so.

Leslie's Opinion
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03/22/2015
No one, not a company or a government should have the right to monitor with a video or audio device without the written consent of the person being monitored. Even if a person agreed to being monitored, they should always have the right to view the records that a company or government has on them. Requests for the information should have to be met within 24 hours. Monitoring withour a persons permission would violate the 4th amendment.
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Loraki's Opinion
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07/10/2016
No monitoring/spying without consent or, if LEOs are involved, a warrant!
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08/01/2016
This seems an obvious law, but it reminds you that everything is legal until it is expressly made illegal. As new technologies arise, sensible legislation is sometimes required to prevent rights abuses, in this case, the right to privacy.
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Argument opposed

Consumers can already buy products without monitoring, and the government shouldn't be regulating the features of media devices.

Erin's Opinion
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07/31/2016
I voted nay on accident (really wish I was able to undo that). Why would anyone agree to be monitored without their permission?
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Robert's Opinion
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07/31/2016
This is about the monitoring companies do, not monitoring the government does. Facebook, Amazon, Google, and more already monitor all of your activities and none of these companies are doing this for malicious purposes, only for advertising purposes. I don't see a problem with this and sometimes I've gotten really helpful information about products and events and companies because of their "recommended content". That's all this bill is about, it's NOT about the government monitoring you. And remember all those sci-fi stories where the computer knows what you want and then gets it for you without you having to think twice? This is the beginning of that technology. If you squash this you're squashing technological advancement and a rad future.
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John 's Opinion
···
07/09/2016
This is how you legalize commercial monitoring.
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What is House Bill H.R. 1164?

This bill prohibits video service operators from collecting visual or audio data using cameras or microphones built in to DVRs or set-top TV boxes without express permission from the consumer. 

While no such "Big Brother" monitoring is in devices yet, Verizon filed a patent for such monitoring technology in 2012, with the monitors being able to detect if viewers were eating, exercising, reading or sleeping in the vicinity of the monitoring device. (The patent was rejected.) 

Should viewers opt in to the monitoring, the bill would mandate that the surveilling company display a "we are watching you" message on the screen and provide information about the types of data being collected. 

Impact

People buying new media devices; media device manufacturers.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1164

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) explained in a press release that the bill would protect consumer privacy:

"These DVRs would essentially observe consumers as they watch television as a way to super-target ads. It is an incredible invasion of privacy. Given what we have recently learned about the access that the government has to the phone numbers we call, the emails we send and the websites we visit, it is important for consumers to decide for themselves whether they want this technology."

Of Note: This bill has been introduced before. In 2013, Rep. Capuano introduced the bill, but it never reached the House floor for a vote.

The monitoring technology that this bill regulates exists already, but it has an off switch. According to Adweek:

"Microsoft's new Kinect also uses sophisticated tracking to detect body positions, but the sensor can be turned off and the consumer is in control of their own personal data."

Media: 

AKA

We Are Watching You Act of 2015

Official Title

To provide for notification to consumers before a video service collects visual or auditory information from the viewing area and to provide consumers with choices that do not involve the collection of such information, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Consumer Protection and Commerce
    IntroducedFebruary 27th, 2015
    No one, not a company or a government should have the right to monitor with a video or audio device without the written consent of the person being monitored. Even if a person agreed to being monitored, they should always have the right to view the records that a company or government has on them. Requests for the information should have to be met within 24 hours. Monitoring withour a persons permission would violate the 4th amendment.
    Like (81)
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    I voted nay on accident (really wish I was able to undo that). Why would anyone agree to be monitored without their permission?
    Like (21)
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    Share
    No monitoring/spying without consent or, if LEOs are involved, a warrant!
    Like (32)
    Follow
    Share
    This seems an obvious law, but it reminds you that everything is legal until it is expressly made illegal. As new technologies arise, sensible legislation is sometimes required to prevent rights abuses, in this case, the right to privacy.
    Like (9)
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    Nobody and nothing should be monitoring me and my home.
    Like (8)
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    Why are there microphones in the DVR in the first place?
    Like (8)
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    This is about the monitoring companies do, not monitoring the government does. Facebook, Amazon, Google, and more already monitor all of your activities and none of these companies are doing this for malicious purposes, only for advertising purposes. I don't see a problem with this and sometimes I've gotten really helpful information about products and events and companies because of their "recommended content". That's all this bill is about, it's NOT about the government monitoring you. And remember all those sci-fi stories where the computer knows what you want and then gets it for you without you having to think twice? This is the beginning of that technology. If you squash this you're squashing technological advancement and a rad future.
    Like (7)
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    Is this even a serious thing? 1984?
    Like (7)
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    I pay such companies to provide a service, not to spy on Me. If I want them to have this information, I will give it to them.
    Like (6)
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    Is it really freedom and privacy if you allow others to monitor your activity?
    Like (6)
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    You should be able to know such optimization is occurring, but it isn't the job of the federal government to mandate it.
    Like (4)
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    Everyone deserves their privacy
    Like (4)
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    Right to privacy means private.
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    My home, my space, my privacy.
    Like (3)
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    Big Brother is always watching
    Like (3)
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    This legislation is beneficial on the part of those who do not want monitoring. Although I may like the monitoring because it prompts personalized suggestions and ads, I understand that others may not want that and that is their choice. This would protect their right to not want that so i am totally for this.
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    This should go further to the point of preventing this service from even happening without approval from the consumer; it should be an optional agreement, separate from the terms that one would normally agree to.
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    Due to the tech society we now live in, it is near impossible to escape monitoring, but we should at least be able to choose when and where!
    Like (3)
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    Not knowing if you're being watched is not only creepy from a moral standpoint it's a direct violation of privacy.
    Like (3)
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    Don't sneak in spyware
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