100 days to go until world-first consumer protections on smart products

26th January 2024
Paige West

The UK is set to become the first country in the world to implement revolutionary protections for consumers using smart devices. With only 100 days remaining, these measures will bring a new level of security to a wide array of connectable devices, including smartphones, games consoles, and smart doorbells.

Effective from 29th April, the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure (PSTI) Act 2022, along with the PSTI Regulations 2023, will establish the UK as a global leader in setting new minimum cyber security standards. This is a significant advancement in consumer protection, revolutionising how smart device security is handled.

The regulations introduce sensible new measures such as eliminating universal default passwords, which are easily guessable, and mandating manufacturers to disclose the duration of security updates for their products. This marks a substantial shift in ensuring long-term security across the lifecycle of smart devices.

Manufacturers, retailers, and importers are now under a 100-day deadline to comply with these new laws. Non-compliance could lead to serious consequences enforced by the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), the regulator for this regime. Penalties include fines up to £10 million or 4% of the manufacturer’s global revenue, depending on which is greater. This stringent enforcement demonstrates the OPSS's commitment to ensuring the highest security standards.

The UK government has played a crucial role in this initiative, reflecting its commitment to bolstering cyber security and protecting the public from increasing online threats. Continuous collaboration with businesses, including retailers and manufacturers, is pivotal for widespread awareness and compliance ahead of the regulation's implementation.

This move positions the UK as a forerunner in mandating minimum cyber security requirements for connectable products. This initiative not only enhances consumer confidence but also aligns with one of the government's five priorities to grow the economy by providing superior protection for the products consumers purchase and use.

Minister for AI and Intellectual Property Viscount Camrose said: "In 100 days, UK consumers, and any businesses, buying smart devices like TVs, cameras, kitchen appliances, speakers, and baby monitors will enjoy top-notch protection from cyber threats. 

“These game-changing regulations, developed with industry input, make the UK the first country on the planet to set minimum cyber security requirements.

“These regulations mark a significant move towards a more secure digital environment, placing the UK at the forefront of worldwide initiatives to strengthen cyber security for connectable products."

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