Shopping for a new smart home device could feel a little more secure in the future if a proposal announced Tuesday by the Federal Communications Commission goes into effect.
Under the proposed program (PDF), which is expected to pass, Internet-enabled smart devices (think Amazon Echo, Google Nest, and others) that meet FCC security standards would carry the US Cyber Trust Mark – a logo on a shield that users can search before they buy. It will also stand next to a QR code so you can scan for more information.
To receive one of these labels, companies and products will have to meet cybersecurity criteria set by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, according to a White House press release. This includes criteria for things like data protection, default passwords, software updates, and incident detection capabilities.
The upcoming label and the program behind it will “raise the bar” for home cybersecurity, the Biden-Harris administration said in the release. The FCC described it as working similarly to how the Energy Star program labels appliances that are more energy efficient.
“Increased interconnectedness also brings increased risks to security and privacy,” FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel said in the commission’s announcement. “Today, I’m proposing that the FCC create a new cybersecurity labeling program so consumers know when devices meet widely accepted security standards.”
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What devices can get a tag?
The US Cyber Trust Mark program is not yet in effect, so there are no exact details at this time. But according to the White House, a full range of smart devices will be eligible for the label, including but not limited to:
According to the White House, major companies that make these devices have expressed support, including Amazon, Google, Samsung, Logitech and others.
When will the offer take effect?
It is currently unclear when the label will be rolled out at the consumer level.
The FCC said the program could be “activated by the end of 2024.” But before it goes into effect, the Commission will have to formally vote on it, followed by a public comment period.
The FCC applied on Tuesday to register its label as a national trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
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