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

Bipartisan senators: Americans need more security info for internet-connected devices
© Camille Fine

Sens. Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerPennsylvania Republican becomes latest COVID-19 breakthrough case in Congress Senate Republicans raise concerns about TSA cyber directives for rail, aviation 6 in 10 say Biden policies responsible for increasing inflation: poll MORE (R-Miss.) and Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanPoll: New Hampshire Senate race tight Progressives push back on decision to shrink Biden's paid family leave program Democratic incumbents bolster fundraising advantage in key Senate races MORE (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 Personal Security (IOT Consumer TIPS) Act would direct the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to start a website providing information on the security of products that fall within the so-called internet of things. Such devices include many stocked with cameras or microphones, or interfacing with internet accounts rife with personal information.

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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.