FCC Greenlights IoT Cybersecurity Labeling Program

The FCC approved the IoT Labeling Program to enhance device cybersecurity, echoing Biden's strategy and a 2020 commission recommendation.

By Sunil Sonkar
2 Min Read
FCC Greenlights IoT Cybersecurity Labeling Program

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has lately approved a new program called the Internet of Things (IoT) Labeling Program to enhance cybersecurity of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Manufacturers of IoT products can now apply for “U.S. Cyber Trust Mark” certification if their products meet the cybersecurity standards. The move is in line with the National Cyber Strategy of the Joe Biden administration. It is also based on a recommendation made by the U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission in 2020.

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The IoT Labeling Program will basically be targeting the wireless consumer IoT products such as smart refrigerators and fitness trackers. The plans will further be expanded beyond just domestic products in the future. The primary focus is to provide consumers cybersecurity assurance of these products and simultaneously help them in making informed decisions while buying.

It is not mandatory for the manufacturers to participate in the program. However, FCC states it will provide legal protections to manufacturers acquiring the certification with respect to liability safe harbor. This means the manufacturers should be aware of the legal actions could be faced if their products are compromised.

It is here to note that those companies which opt out from participating may find themselves affected by its standards. The cybersecurity criteria of FCC could become a benchmark for determining what constitutes “reasonable security” in legal and regulatory contexts. This means all the IoT manufacturers are urged to assess their products against these standards.

Similar, Singapore, Japan and a couple of more countries have initiated similar labeling programs to highlight the global momentum behind such cybersecurity initiatives. It is yet to witness whether manufacturers eagerly joins such initiatives and make the IoT devices more secure.

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