Can your appliances be trusted?

The government has announced a new, voluntary labeling system for home appliances and other Internet-connected gadgets, designed to tell you how your personal data is used, and what security features are available.

By Shelly BrisbinJuly 20, 2023 1:30 pm,

When you buy a smart appliance like a refrigerator, or even a fitness tracker like a Fitbit, understanding how your personal data could be used – or what information you’re sharing with the gadget’s makers – can be difficult.

That’s the concern behind the Biden administration’s new Cyber Trust Mark, a voluntary certification label unveiled this week. It’s intended to provide useful information about the safety and security of home-based Internet-of-things devices.

But will a label really protect your data, or make you smarter about which appliance to buy? Tech expert Omar Gallaga has an early look at what the FCC has called Energy Star for the security of smart devices.

Highlights from this segment:

– Tech companies including Amazon, Google, Best Buy and the Matter Alliance have signed on to use the Cyber Trust Mark on their devices. It’s both a label and a QR code that leads to a webpage describing the device’s data and security policies.

– The label will not begin appearing on devices for at least a year.

– In addition to home appliances, the Cyber Trust Mark could appear on fitness trackers and routers.

– An independent organization – not the government or device makers – will verify the claims made by vendors.

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