NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A5468A
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the general business law, in relation to the use of
voice recognition features
This bill would regulate voice recognition features in Internet-connect-
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 adds a new article to the general business law to regulate
voice recognition features. Subdivision 1 of section 676 sets forth
definitions to be used in the section. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 2
will require users be notified that they are using voice recognition
features on their connected devices. Paragraph (b) states that
recordings of spoken word collected by the manufacturer through voice
recognition features shall not be sold or used for advertising purposes.
Paragraph (c) states that recordings of spoken word collected by a third
party through voice recognition features shall riot be sold or used for
advertising purposes. Paragraph (d) states that the manufacturer shall
not be liable for functionality provided by third party applications
that the user chooses to download. Subdivision 3 states that this shall
not be construed to authorize disclosure of any recordings retained by
the manufacturer. Subdivision 4 allows the Attorney General to bring an
action if he or she believes there is a violation of this section.
Section 2 is the effective date. JUSTIFICATION: Companies that manufac-
ture internet-capable devices like cell phones and televisions may
record a user's voice without an individual's consent if the product has
voice recognition software. Manufacturers should not be able to sell
these recordings for a profit or use them for advertising purposes.
California has enacted similar legislation to curb this practice on
internet capable televisions. As technology continues to progress, it is
important that customers are aware that their privacy may be violated.
2021-22: A4855 passed Assembly/S3589 referred to Consumer Protection
2019-20: A5306 referred to Rules / S4012 referred to Consumer Protection
2017-18: A724B passed Assembly /SB561 referred to Consumer Affairs
2016: A8718B reported to Rules /S7923 referred to Consumer Affairs
None to state.
This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it
shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2023-2024 Regular Sessions
March 10, 2023
Introduced by M. of A. GUNTHER, ZEBROWSKI, WALLACE, GLICK, SANTABARBARA,
BUTTENSCHON, OTIS, SAYEGH -- read once and referred to the Committee
on Consumer Affairs and Protection -- reported and referred to the
Committee on Codes -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered
reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee
AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to the use of
voice recognition features
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The general business law is amended by adding a new article
2 32-A to read as follows:
3 ARTICLE 32-A
4 VOICE RECOGNITION FEATURES
5 Section 676. Use of voice recognition features in products.
6 § 676. Use of voice recognition features in products. 1. For purposes
7 of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
8 (a) "Connected device" shall mean a television, video game console as
9 defined in section three hundred ninety-six-kk of this chapter, computer
10 as defined in section three hundred ninety-two-a of this chapter,
11 computer accessory as defined in section three hundred ninety-two-a of
12 this chapter, internet-capable device as defined in section five hundred
13 thirty-eight-b of this chapter, or a toy as defined in paragraph (d) of
14 this subdivision.
15 (b) "User" means a person who originally purchases, leases, or takes
16 ownership of a connected device. A person who is incidentally recorded
17 when a voice recognition feature is activated by a user shall not be
18 deemed to be a user.
19 (c) "Voice recognition feature" means the function of a connected
20 device that allows the collection, recording, storage, analysis, trans-
21 mission, interpretation, or other use of spoken words or other sounds.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 5468--A 2
1 (d) "Toy" means any product designed or intended by the manufacturer
2 to be used by children or adults for amusement or play.
3 2. (a) A person or entity shall not provide the operation of a voice
4 recognition feature within this state without prominently informing,
5 during the initial setup or installation of a connected device, either
6 the user or the person designated by the user to perform the initial
7 setup or installation of the connected device of the functions of the
8 device, that the device may be recording the user, and that the entity
9 that makes the device may be retaining these recordings.
10 (b) Any recordings collected through the operation of a voice recogni-
11 tion feature by the manufacturer of a connected device shall not be sold
12 or used for any advertising purposes.
13 (c) Any recordings collected through the operation of a voice recogni-
14 tion feature by a third party contracting with the manufacturer of a
15 connected device shall not be sold or used for any advertising purposes.
16 (d) The manufacturer of a connected device shall not be liable for
17 functionality provided by third party applications that the user chooses
18 to use or are downloaded and installed by a user.
19 3. Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize disclosure
20 of any recordings retained by the manufacturer to any individual or
21 entity, including a law enforcement agency, or any officer, employee, or
22 agent of such agency, unless otherwise authorized by law or pursuant to
23 a judicial order.
24 4. (a) Whenever the attorney general shall believe from evidence
25 satisfactory to him or her that there is a violation of this section, he
26 or she may bring an action in the name and on behalf of the people of
27 the state of New York, in a court of competent jurisdiction to enjoin
28 and restrain the continuation of such violation. In such action, prelim-
29 inary relief may be granted under article sixty-three of the civil prac-
30 tice law and rules. In such action, the court may award damages for
31 actual costs or losses incurred by the consumer. Whenever the court
32 shall determine in such action that a person or business violated this
33 section, the court may impose a civil penalty not to exceed two thousand
34 five hundred dollars per violation.
35 (b) The remedies provided by this subdivision shall be in addition to
36 any other lawful remedy available.
37 § 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after
38 it shall have become a law.