DCMS research suggests there will be 75 billion internet-connected devices by 2025
The UK government will introduce a new law aimed at strengthening security standards for the consumer Internet of Things.
The plans have been drawn up by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) and will ensure all consumer smart devices sold in the UK adhere to three rigorous security requirements for the Internet of Things (IoT).
The three security requirements are:
- All consumer internet-connected device passwords must be unique and not resettable to any universal factory setting
- Manufacturers of consumer IoT devices must provide a public point of contact so anyone can report a vulnerability and it will be acted on in a timely manner
- Manufacturers of consumer IoT devices must explicitly state the minimum length of time for which the device will receive security updates at the point of sale, either in-store or online
According to DCMS, the use of connected devices is increasing. Research has revealed that there will be 75 billion internet-connected devices including televisions, cameras, home assistants and their associated services, in homes around the world by the end of 2025.
Digital minister Matt Warman said: “We want to make the U.K. safest place to be online with pro-innovation regulation that breeds confidence in modern technology.
“Our new law will hold firms manufacturing and selling internet-connected devices to account and stop hackers threatening people’s privacy and safety.
“It will mean robust security standards are built-in from the design stage and not bolted on as an afterthought.”
Helen Davenport, tech partner at law firm Gowling WLG, welcomed the change.
“This is a logical and correct measure that rightly puts the onus on manufacturers to further protect the interests of consumers, where the increasing menace of online hacking is concerned,” she said.
“For too long, there has been something of a ‘no man’s land’ where regulatory powers in respect of this have been ignored or side-lined, so it is promising to see that the Government is focusing on this.
It is promising that the future of the UK’s place in the global tech race is more secured with legislation meeting the challenge of keeping up with technological advancements. Although there are some fantastic examples of individual brand owners doing this, this new legal obligation will help bring others in from the fold.”