- U.S. CPSC or United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has listed several measures for ensuring consumer safety in using IoT.
- These measures come as essential practices for manufacturers of IoT products.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has introduced the Framework of Safety for IoT (the CPSC Framework). The aim is to promote the best technological practices for establishing consumer safety and prevent any physical injury or illness arising from the use of IoT products.
Steps and Expectations
The CPSC Framework stresses the roles and responsibilities of IoT product manufacturers and retailers for following correct safety procedures. This must be executed across several developmental activities, and address safety concerns.
It is also expected that manufacturers and retailers designate a safety supervisor who can monitor and evaluate the various IoT products. This will encourage a culture of safety and security. Consumer safety requires a coordinated effort among all professionals developing a product and immediately look into any reports of defects, flaws and vulnerabilities.
The CPSC Framework suggests certain measures to avoid such damages. Manufacturers involved in the development of IoT products should be capable of foreseeing the probability of injuries that can occur due to power losses, malfunctions or hacking. While doing so, the well-being of end users such as children and the elderly should be considered. Further, the possibility of failure to load critical software updates, unintended activation of a system or failure to operate a critical safety function is to be included in the risk assessments.
A number of recommended countermeasures that have been laid out include:-
- Certification of components based on industry safety standards.
- User authentication and confirmation
- Following best practices for data protection
- Ensuring that consumers receive adequate information for tracking and identification of devices during product safety procedures
- Transparency around consumer data collection
- Transparency about expected lifespan (of a product).
Alongwith the above, the CPSC Framework also addresses those product types that need additional safeguarding. One special product type is “wearables” – devices that are worn on or in the body. There is uncertainty concerning its proper usage for accessing health information and regarding allergic reactions to the human skin that can trigger deterioration of the user’s health.
With the rapid advancement in the development and implementation of IoT technology, it is important that manufacturers do take notice for minimizing the possibility of risk while keeping up pace in a rapidly changing industry. The CPSC Framework represents an initiation of spreading awareness about injury prevention and with time may become a necessary regulation in this growing industry.