Illinois lawmakers propose bill to protect personal information collected on household digital devices

If you use digital devices to help protect your home, your personal information could be lawfully obtained and collected in Illinois.

However, a push for new rules aims to restrict access to that sensitive data.

Sophisticated technology is making its way into more and more households, offering safety and convenience to home owners with the use of security cameras and smart appliances.

What you might not have known though, is that many of these devices have the capacity to collect, store, and transmit personal and private information from within the home.

"We believe that Illinois residents should be able to take advantage of growing technology while remaining assured that their privacy won't be compromised," said Senator Cristina Castro.

Sen. Castro and Representative Ann Williams are Illinois lawmakers who are co-sponsoring a bill called the Protecting Household Privacy Act. If passed, it would regulate when data from such devices may be lawfully obtained and collected.

"This follows bills we've done in the past that protect cell phone data, gathering information from drones and other technological advances, Rep. Williams said.

The bill requires manufacturers of household electronic devices to notify consumers as to what data has been given to third parties, as well as the names of the third parties. It also would require law enforcement to obtain a warrant to get data gathered by a personal device.

"You wouldn't open your door for law enforcement and allow then unfettered access to everything in your home any other time, and this is the electronic version of just that," Williams said.

Lawmakers said the household electronic device industry is currently not regulated in terms of collecting data, and this bill would be the first of its kind in the nation to address its role in privacy rights.
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