FCC Tees Up Vote on U.S. Cyber Trust Mark IoT Device Labeling – MeriTalk

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The Federal Communications Commission has scheduled a March 14 vote on a proposal the agency first floated last year to create a voluntary cybersecurity labeling program for wireless internet of things (IoT) devices including home security cameras, voice-activated shopping devices, internet-connected appliances, fitness trackers, garage door openers, and baby monitors.

If the FCC votes to approve the proposal, manufacturers of those consumer devices who meet “baseline” cybersecurity standards would be able to attach a new U.S. Cyber Trust Mark label to their products. The label would feature a QR code that lets consumers scan for “easy-to-understand details about the security of the product, such as the guaranteed minimum support period for the product and whether software patches and security updates are automatic,” the agency said.

That labeling, the FCC said, “would help consumers make informed purchasing decisions, differentiate trustworthy products in the marketplace, and create incentives for manufacturers to meet higher cybersecurity standards.”

According to the agency, the program “would rely on public-private collaboration,” and the FCC would provide “oversight and approved third-party label administrators managing activities such as evaluating product applications, authorizing use of the label, and consumer education.”  Compliance testing would be conducted by accredited labs.

“Smart products can make our lives a lot more convenient but they can also pose security and privacy risks,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.

“This program would make it easier for consumers to choose more secure smart products for their homes, encourage companies to meet higher cybersecurity standards, and strengthen the ecosystem for connected products,” she said. “Just as the ENERGY STAR program educated the public and created incentives for manufacturers to offer more energy-efficient appliances, our cybersecurity labeling program would pave the way to do the same with smart products.”

Achieving a secure future by architecting a Zero Trust foundation. Learn more.

The proposal the FCC will vote on next month was informed by input from a call for comment issued by the agency in August 2023. That action closely followed a White House announcement about the proposed program.

“The goal of the program is to provide tools for consumers to make informed decisions about the relative security of products they choose to bring into their homes,” the White House said in a press release in July 2023. “Manufacturers and retailers announcing support and commitments today to further the program include Amazon, Best Buy, Google, LG Electronics U.S.A., Logitech, and Samsung Electronics.”

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