|by Erin Kelly, USA TODAY|
As more Americans connect to the Internet through everything from fitness bracelets to coffee makers,
Worried that lawmakers are lagging behind on the rapidly evolving technology, two tech-savvy members of
At the same time, a bipartisan group of four senators has pushed to have the
"Technology is revolutionizing the way consumers use cars, homes, work spaces and everyday items," said Issa, former chairman of the
The list of Internet-connected things, which is growing by the day, includes baby monitors with sensors that send information to parents' smartphones about their infant's breathing and temperature; thermostats that use sensors, weather forecasts and the activity in a home to control the temperature; and WiFi-enabled coffee makers that can be controlled by a smartphone.
All of this is news to quite a few members of
"Part of the reason for our caucus is to inform members about what's going on," said DelBene, who wears an Internet-connected fitness bracelet to work and is a former Microsoft executive and former CEO of a business software company. "The more we educate folks, the more it will help them make informed policy decisions."
Issa and DelBene say the issue is a rare bipartisan one. Both sides agree on the need to protect consumers' privacy as sensitive personal data is sent and received by a growing number of devices. The goal is to prevent cyber criminals from hacking into consumers' data while also protecting the information from the prying eyes of government, employers and insurance companies.
The risk of living in an increasingly wired world was underscored Monday when Sen.
"Even as we are more connected than ever in our cars and trucks, our technology systems and data security remain largely unprotected," said Markey, a member of the Senate Commerce panel.
Lawmakers agree that whatever government regulations are proposed to enhance security should not stifle innovation.
"I'm hoping we can accept some basic premises on a bipartisan basis," said Sen.
But the FTC recommended that
The commission also called on
"I think we have to be more forward-looking when considering any legislation dealing with technology," DelBene said. "