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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 WickerEnsuring more Americans have access to 5G technology Zuckerberg to express openness to Section 230 reform Bipartisan group of senators call on Trump to sanction Russia over Navalny poisoning MORE (R-Miss.) and Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanGOP coronavirus bill blocked as deal remains elusive Hollywood gives Biden's digital campaign final star-studded push Democrats step up hardball tactics as Supreme Court fight heats up 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.