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UK Gov Passes New Cyber Bill for Personal Tech Products

UK Gov Passes New Cyber Bill for Personal Tech Products

The UK government has just introduced the new cyber law – passing ‘The Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure (PSTI) bill’, designed to better protect consumers from attacks by hackers on their personal tech products and internet-connectable devices.

As announced, the new law include a ban on easy-to-guess default password that come preloaded on devices – such as ‘password’ or ‘admin’, transparency to customers about the minimum amount of time a product will receive vital security updates and patches as well as the provision of a public point of contact to simplify the reporting of discovered flaws and bugs in products.

The PSTI bill require manufacturers, importers and distributors of internet connectable tech products to make sure they meet the new cyber security standards or face heavy fines of up to £10 million or up to 4 per cent of global revenue for firms failing to comply. In addition, the regulator will also be able to issue notices to companies requiring them to comply with the security requirements, recall their products, or stop selling/supplying them altogether.

“Every day hackers attempt to break into people’s smart devices. Most of us assume if a product is for sale, it’s safe and secure. Yet many are not, putting too many of us at risk of fraud and theft. Our Bill will put a firewall around every day tech from phones and thermostats to dishwashers, baby monitors and doorbells, and see huge fines for those who fall foul of tough new security standards,” said Julia Lopez, Minister for Media, Data and Digital Infrastructure.

This Bill applies to ‘connectable’ products including all devices that can access the internet – such as smartphones, smart TVs, games consoles, security cameras and alarm systems, smart toys and baby monitors, smart home hubs, voice-activated assistants as well as products that can connect to multiple other devices including smart light bulbs, smart thermostats and wearable fitness trackers.

Retailers of these products are also to ensure their goods meet these security requirements and are to pass important information about security updates to customers or they will be forbidden from selling products to UK customers.