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The Hill: Bipartisan senators: Americans need more security info for internet-connected devices

Joe Uchill

By Joe Uchill


Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) introduced legislation Thursday to start a service providing consumers with advice for the security of internet-connected devices.


The Internet of Things Consumer Tips to Improve Consumer Security (IOT Consumer TIPS) Act would direct the FTC to start a website providing information on the security of products that fall within the so-called internet of things (IoT). Such devices include many stocked with cameras or microphones or interfacing with internet accounts rife with personal information.


Such devices can come with a substantial privacy risk and are generally less secure than laptops or desktop computers. Many cannot be updated to patch security flaws.


The FTC website proposed by the bill will include directions to update the devices that can be updated, mitigate compromises and decommission devices after they are no longer in use. The website would include a device-by-device rundown of vendor security support.


“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,” Wicker said in a statement.