Commentary

California Passes Nation's First IoT Security Law

Security relating to the Internet of Things is starting to get regulated.

The first IoT security law was signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown, making the state the first in the U.S. to require smart device makers to include security in their products.

The new law, to take effect in January 2020, “would require a manufacturer of a connected device to equip the device with a reasonable security feature or features that are appropriate to the nature and function of the device, appropriate to the information it may collect, contain or transmit, and designed to protect the device and any information contained from unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification or disclosure.”

Security features could include preprogrammed passwords unique to each device or device security features that require a user to generate a new means of authentication before access is granted to the device for the first time.

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The law would impact any person or company that manufacturers smart or connected devices sold or offered for sale in California. The bill was approved by the California Assembly and Senate in late August before being signed by the governor late last week.

The reality is that the leading connected device brands are highly aware of security issues and plan accordingly.

The law may be one incentive to push security features into smart devices, but a much larger incentive is the negative impact a brand can experience when a security flaw is detected in one of its products by the public. Negative national or even global publicity can cause much more damage to a brand than most legal penalties for a smart product security lapse.

6 comments about "California Passes Nation's First IoT Security Law".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, October 1, 2018 at 3:33 p.m.

    "Reasonable" to whom? No one forces us to buy connected devices. As for negative publicity, it is a tiny subset of the rest of the general negativity that permeates the media attempting to make a buck from a constantly riled-up public. For example, the cable networks are getting rich off a divided country.

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, October 1, 2018 at 3:36 p.m.

    Regarding "reasonable" Douglas, that is but one of the numerous issues the bill is being criticized for.

  3. Jennifer Jarratt from Leading Futurists, LLC, October 1, 2018 at 3:46 p.m.

    Nice to see the Governor "singed"the new bill. Reflects his opinion? <g>

  4. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, October 1, 2018 at 5 p.m.

    Thanks, Jennifer, he was actually in favor of it.

  5. R MARK REASBECK from www.USAonly.US , October 1, 2018 at 6:57 p.m.

    will this apply to Auto-tonomous cars?     If it does, they will never leave the driveway.
    On second thought , who wants to live in California anyway.  "Moonbeam" is chasing away
    corporations with regulations and restrictions on a daily basis.

  6. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, October 1, 2018 at 7:23 p.m.

    It is more aimed at smart home devices, Mark.

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