Californians no longer have to worry about their TVs listening in on their conversations.
On Tuesday, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill making it illegal for companies to use data gathered through voice recognition features to serve customers targeted ads.
Increasingly, connected TVs from companies like Samsung and set-top boxes from Apple, Amazon and Roku are using voice commands to control their experience.
The new bill prohibits "any actual recordings of spoken word collected through the operation of a voice recognition feature" from being used "for the purpose of improving the voice recognition feature" or "for any advertising purpose."
The bill also forbids law enforcement agencies from requesting special tools that let them listen in to that voice data. The law will take effect on Jan. 1, 2016.
"Smart TVs and voice-recognition technologies are innovative and convenient tools, but giving up our right to privacy in the home because we want to utilize voice-command features to change the channel is simply unacceptable," California state Assemblyman Mike Gatto, who helped write the bill as chairman of the state's Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee, said in a statement.
"It might be a little creepy," he added, "if the family discussing financial issues finds themselves receiving targeted commercials from bankruptcy attorneys as they watch their favorite show."