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Bill Requiring Safety Precautions For Internet-Capable Baby Monitors Heads To State Senate

Legislation requiring built-in safety precations for Internet-capable baby monitors sold in the state was released by a state Senate committee on Feb. 6.

The bill, A-3581, was co-sponsored by state Assemblyman Joe Danielsen (D-17).

The bill requires all baby monitors sold in New Jersey, that broadcast audio or video online, to inlude security features that prevent unauthorized users from hearing or viewing activity, and a label or notice warning consumers of the risks associated with an unsecured baby monitor connection and the importance of accessing the baby monitor securely and using its security features, according to a press release about the bill.

Under the bill, it would be an unlawful practice under the consumer fraud act to sell, offer for sale any baby monitor without security features and a corresponding warning label, according to the release.

The Office of Technology, Research and Investigation, in the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), studied five baby monitors that broadcast live audio and video feeds over the internet and found that some of them have minimal security protections, according to the release. Only one required a complex password while the others allowed users access with simple passwords, such as “password,” making them vulnerable to hackers. Two of the five baby monitors the FTC studied did not encrypt the feed between the router and internet resulting in additional vulnerabilities.

“Parents remain aware of the many dangers that can be associated with Wi-Fi enabled devices,” Danielsen said in the release. “In this technological age, legislation like this one is required and ensure that companies share in the responsibility of keeping parents well-informed of the security features provided with Wi-Fi enabled devices.”

The bill was released by the state Senate Law and Public Safety Committee. It now goes to the Senate leadership for consideration.

Also sponsoring the bill were Assembly members Joann Downey, Gabriela Mosquera and Eric Houghtaling.

 

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