FCC Seeks Comments on Cybersecurity Labeling Plan for Smart Devices

You might start seeing the Cyber Trust Mark on products by late 2024.

Padlock icon on circuit board.
(Image credit: KanawatTH)

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking public comments on a proposal to create a voluntary cybersecurity labeling program to help consumers identify “Smart” devices that meet widely accepted security and privacy standards.

Under the proposed program, a new shield logo entitled “U.S. Cyber Trust Mark” would be used on products meeting the cybersecurity standards. The logo would appear on packaging alongside a QR code that could be scanned for more information and linked to a national registry of certified devices for the most current security information. 

“Just like the Energy Star logo helps consumers know what devices are energy efficient, the Cyber Trust Mark will help consumers make more informed purchasing decisions about device privacy and security,” said FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel in a statement.

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The FCC said it will evaluate public comments to determine the next steps and, if the agency votes to establish the program, it could begin by late 2024.

Smart device numbers multiiply


The public is being asked to consider issues including what should be the scope of devices included in the program, who should oversee and manage the program, and how should security standards be developed to apply to various devices.

The move comes as the number of smart devices is skyrocketing, with some groups estimating that more than 25 billion connected devices will be in operation by 2030, the FCC said. In the first six months of 2021, there were an estimated 1.5 billion-plus attacks against smart devices, the agency added.

Based on criteria developed by the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology, the program builds on significant public and private sector work already underway concerning smart device cybersecurity and labeling.

Last month, the Biden administration announced plans to launch the program, saying that it would raise cybersecurity standards across common devices including smart refrigerators, microwaves, televisions, climate control systems and fitness trackers.

Several electronics, appliance and consumer product manufacturers, retailers and trade associations have already made voluntary commitments to increase cybersecurity for their products, the administration said. These include Amazon, Best Buy, Google, LG Electronics U.S.A., Logitech and Samsung Electronics.

Senior News Editor

Esther D’Amico is Kiplinger’s senior news editor. A long-time regulatory journalist, Esther has covered a range of industries including antitrust and congressional affairs, infrastructure, transportation, climate change and the industrial chemicals sector. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and in English.