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White House announces cybersecurity warning label for devices

The Biden administration wants a "U.S. Cyber Trust Mark" on devices like major internet and bluetooth-connected electronics, warning about risks.
White House announces cybersecurity warning label for devices
Posted at 2:00 AM, Jul 18, 2023

The Biden administration is announcing its "U.S. Cyber Trust Mark" program to label major internet and bluetooth-connected devices and products. The government wants to put labels informing consumers if various electronics meet certain government requirements for cybersecurity. 

The administration's announcement said the goal is to prevent "attackers" from gaining access to Americans' homes via secure devices. 

An announcement from the White House said, "The U.S. Cyber Trust Mark will allow Americans to confidently identify" devices, "including baby monitors, home security cameras, fitness trackers, and smart TVs and refrigerators of all price ranges," and determine if they "meet the U.S. Government's cybersecurity requirements and are less vulnerable to cyberattacks." 

“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 and more informed decisions about what kinds of devices they bring into their homes and businesses," said Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.

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It was unclear how manufacturers from various companies would respond, but the Biden administration said, "The U.S. Cyber Trust Mark will offer Americans the peace of mind that the devices they're buying and bringing into their homes, classrooms, or workplaces are safer and less vulnerable to cyberattacks."

Various tech companies were scheduled to participate in the announcement of the cybersecurity label, including Amazon, Best Buy, Carnegie Mellon University, CyLab, Cisco Systems, Connectivity Standards Alliance, Consumer Reports, Consumer Technology Association, Google, Infineon, the Information Technology Industry Council, IoXT, KeySight, LG Electronics U.S.A., Logitech, OpenPolicy, Qorvo, Qualcomm, Samsung, UL Solutions, Yale and August U.S, the White House said. 

Other cybersecurity trust mark labels have been implemented outside of the United States. 

Before last year, Singapore announced it would be implementing a program in which small and medium companies would have to be certified and apply for a cybersecurity excellence award, working with the country's trade and commerce department. 

In the U.K., the National Cyber Security Center announced a government-backed program to protect organizations against cybercrimes and launched a "Cyber Essentials" trademark. 

Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, said, "While walking CES this year," he saw "products that improve healthcare, transportation and energy efficiency." He said while the technology makes "our world better, it also tempts bad actors to exploit consumers' connected devices."

Editor's Note: This article was updated to reflect that Shapiro, not Scott Bovarnick of the U.S. Consumer Technology Association, provided the final quote. 

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