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house Bill H.R. 2356

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.

Argument opposed

Such devices would optimize consumers' viewing experiences, and sometimes it gets lonely watching 12-hour Storage Wars marathons by yourself.

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
    IntroducedJune 13th, 2013

What is House Bill H.R. 2356?

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. 


Impacts an individual's right to privacy in their own dwelling and the limits of targeted advertising.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2356

A CBO cost estimate is not available at this time.

More Information


Adweek: Cameras in Your Cable Box

The Boston Globe: Would You Let Your TV Watch You? 

Of Note: 

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." Microsoft explains more here


We Are Watching You Act of 2013

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.

    I think it's not right to be spying on the people who haven't done anything wrong. If you truly must know what goes on in someone's life/ business watch and listen to those who have been in and out of prison. Those who are a true threat to the society not groups of people you think are a threat but the ones who's already committed the crime and has been through the system!
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