Smart laws: The UK beefing up its IoT security laws is a sign of things to come

Growth of the Internet of Things has led to an increasing number of devices connected to the Internet, as well as an increasing number of incidents involving hackers taking over in-home devices. Cases of hacking into baby monitors and Wi-Fi cameras have left consumers with doubts about the safety and overall desirability of connected home devices. New laws drafted by UK ministers are intended to be guidelines for all types of connected device makers, including smartphone makers.

The laws seek to tackle two key vulnerabilities: the use of universal default passwords such as “Admin” or “Password,” and the practice by smartphone makers of ending security updates after only two years – especially as research shows that one third of consumers keep their phones an average of four years or more.

Consumers are, in fact, warming up to the idea of owning smart home products, as adoption for many smart home products continues to grow at a double-digit pace. Many, however, continue to have concerns about data privacy and security. Interpret’s Smart Home Matrix™ indicates that nearly 50% of smart home product owners are highly concerned about data privacy. Data privacy must be a high priority for smart home and IoT product makers, and the initiatives from the UK ministers will undoubtedly provide guidance for many countries seeking to find the right balance of legislation for smart home products.

“European countries have, thus far, taken a global leadership position in developing data privacy standards for citizens,” commented Stuart Sikes, Senior Vice President at Interpret. “Other countries around the globe have, albeit slowly, followed many of the initiatives taken by Europeans. It’s likely that American lawmakers will follow suit, and smart device manufacturers need to be prepared.”