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H.R. 4048 (116th): Automatic Listening Exploitation Act of 2019

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About the bill

Amid reports of smart home devices recording couples having sex, what recourse should consumers have under federal law for such privacy violations?


Recent years have seen an explosion of “smart” or voice-activated home devices, most prominently the Amazon Echo and Google Nest. 21% of adults now own such a device. The rate of ownership is still surging, with 14 million people getting their first such device last year.

However, reports have detailed devices going rogue and occasionally recording audio of what users say or do without their permission or knowledge. For example, an Amazon Echo device accidentally recorded a couple’s private in-home conversations and sent the audio to random people in the owner’s contact list.

What the bill does

The Automatic Listening Exploitation Act would fine a ...

Sponsor and status

Seth Moulton

Sponsor. Representative for Massachusetts's 6th congressional district. Democrat.

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Last Updated: Jul 25, 2019
Length: 9 pages
Jul 25, 2019
116th Congress (2019–2021)
Died in a previous Congress

This bill was introduced on July 25, 2019, in a previous session of Congress, but it did not receive a vote.



Jul 25, 2019

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

H.R. 4048 (116th) was a bill in the United States Congress.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.

Bills numbers restart every two years. That means there are other bills with the number H.R. 4048. This is the one from the 116th Congress.

This bill was introduced in the 116th Congress, which met from Jan 3, 2019 to Jan 3, 2021. Legislation not enacted by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.

How to cite this information.

We recommend the following MLA-formatted citation when using the information you see here in academic work:

“H.R. 4048 — 116th Congress: Automatic Listening Exploitation Act of 2019.” 2019. January 16, 2021 <>

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