New laws are set to be introduced which would force internet connected gadgets like smart speakers and smart TV’s to be made more secure.
Digital Minister Margot James has proposed new legislation that would seek to tackle the security vulnerabilities which have emerged with the growth of the “internet of things”(IOT).
The number of smart speakers in the UK is due to grow 31.6 per cent this year to 12.6 million, while the number of connected devices in use worldwide will top 14.2 billion by the end of 2019.
Under the proposed new laws connected devices, which are increasingly being adopted by the retail industry for their potential to enable voice shopping, will have to come with unique passwords.
Furthermore the new laws would introduce a new labelling system, which would inform the customer how secure the device is based on whether it comes with unique passwords by default, how long security updates would be made available and whether it offers an available point of contact to disclose any security vulnerabilities.
This will initially be a voluntary code of practice, however companies that do not use these labels would eventually be barred from selling goods.
“Serious security problems in consumer IOT devices, such as pre-set unchangeable passwords, continue to be discovered – and it’s unacceptable that these are not being fixed by manufacturers,” the National Cyber Security Centre’s technical director Ian Levy said.