Schumer calls for better safeguards with Web-enabled TVs, cameras

Sen. Charles Schumer Sunday called on electronics manufacturers to improve safeguards on camera-enabled devices and secure customers’ privacy.

The senator said he became concerned for people who buy smart TVs, new baby-monitoring cameras, or other similar devices after a group of Russian hackers allegedly broke into 4,000 American devices last week and live-streamed the footage.

Although the site that put the info out on the Web was immediately shut down, Schumer said the incident showed that consumers should take precautions when it comes to their tech gadgets.

“These devices can roll out the welcome mat for voyeurs, robbers and blackmailers,” he said at a news conference. Most of the TVs and cameras come with an option to password-protect the device from hackers, he said. However, consumers aren’t alerted to this option when they set up their set. He urged electronic companies to change their setup so consumers will be prompted to set up their own passwords, instead of the default factory setting, before the device is fully activated.

“It’s simple for the manufacturers to do and easy for all homeowners,” he said.