California’s governor recently signed into law A.B. 1116 (the Law), which includes prohibitions on (1) activating voice recognition in smart TVs, unless a user is prominently informed of such functionality during the initial setup or installation of the television, and (2) the use of recorded conversations for advertising purposes. One of the rationales behind the Law—that many consumers do not realize that personal appliances and devices collect private information and incorporate targeted advertising technology—suggests that subsequent legislation and other governmental action, with broader Internet of Things implications, could be forthcoming.
Under the Law, manufacturers could be subject to injunctions and fines of up to $2,500 per violation. The Law does not create or limit any private right of action. It will become effective on January 1, 2016.