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U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) announced the “Internet of Things Consumer Tips for Improved Personal Security Act (IoT Consumer TIPS Act) of 2017. The bill would require the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to develop cyber-security resources for consumers, addressing how consumers can protect themselves against cybercriminals targeting internet-connected devices.
“With the holiday season upon us, many consumers are buying the latest internet-connected devices for their loved ones. As these devices enter the marketplace, it is important that Americans know how to protect themselves from cybercriminals,” said Senator Wicker.
The IOT Consumer TIPS Act would foster consumer confidence in IoT devices by providing resources for consumers to protect their devices from cyber criminals. IoT devices include connected appliances and machines such as refrigerators, thermostats, cars, lights, home security cameras, and wearable technology including watches and clothes.
Studies estimate that there will be 8.4 billion connected things in use in 2017 and over 20 billion IoT devices will be in use by 2020. With the increasing number of IoT devices, cyber-attacks have become increasingly prevalent as consumers often lack the knowledge necessary to prevent simple cyber intrusions.
Specifically, the legislation would require the FTC to develop resources on their website to help consumers:
- Identify the scope of security support from IoT device vendor after purchase;
- Initiate or set-up an IoT device for use;
- Update the software of an IoT device during operation or use;
- Recover or fix compromised IoT devices;
- Reset, delete, or modify data collected or retained by an IoT device when it is no longer in use; and
- Access security services, tools or platforms that may help consumers manage connected devices.