How is the law fighting against the dangers of Smart Tech?

Smart technology is everywhere now, and most of us have some form of it in our homes. It provides massive amounts of convenience, but the huge levels of data that the devices harvest have also become a concern for some.

More people are now looking at how tech businesses use this data, and how many hackers are finding new ways to access it. It is for this reason that the UK Government is now bringing in new measures to fight the risks and protect users, allowing them to enjoy the benefits of smart technology safely.


Smart Home Technology

Smart home technology can now cover a vast range of devices. We tend to think of it as smart speakers, but it can also include your mobile phone, Wi-Fi router, games console, security cameras, smart doorbells and even your fridge if it is internet enabled. These items are all part of what is known as the Internet of Things (IoT), and with so many of them making their way into our homes, there is a huge amount of data about us that they can collect and hold.

It makes sense that the more items we bring into our homes, the more opportunities that we provide for hackers to access our data and for tech firms to find out more about us legitimately. As these devices have been rolled out, the security on offer by some has been less than it should have been. There have also been problems associated with users not making their devices as secure as they could or updating the security patches that are sent out.


Fighting Smart Tech Crime

As technology develops, legislation can sometimes find it hard to keep up. This has left users vulnerable until now, and so the Government has been looking at ways to offer protection and curtail attacks on household devices in attempts to compromise the IoT. The emphasis is now being put onto the manufacturers of these devices to ensure that their security features are as advanced as possible.

Recently the UK Government have brought in a new Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure (PTSI) Bill that has been designed to improve smart home security. This means that it will no longer be possible for businesses to set default passwords that are easy to guess and will require them to disclose the release dates of security updates.

There is also a requirement to provide a public point of contact for security researchers enabling them to disclose flaws and bugs. Penalties for this are set to be high, with fines of up to £10 million or 4% of a business’ gross revenue potentially being levied.

Of course, it is not just the security of devices that is questioned, but also how our data is used by those who legitimately hold it. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws are vitally important here, and similar fines are in place for those who do not comply. All users should understand how their data will be stored and used, and businesses must make every effort to ensure that smart tech data is as well protected as any other data that they collect. 

Smart devices are a terrific addition to our lives, and they bring many benefits, but it is vital that they are as secure as possible given how severe the consequences of a failure can be. With more laws being put into place, it is clear that security is now being put at the forefront of smart technology, ensuring that we can make the most of our devices with a greater sense of peace of mind.


For more information on data protection and privacy, read Data protection for businesses and Data protection and privacy. Remember that you can  Ask a lawyer if you have any questions.


David Tyrer
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