The Online Trust Alliance (OTA), the non-profit with the mission to enhance online trust, announced today that it is leading an initiative to develop a security, privacy and sustainability trust framework for Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Intended to provide clarity and confidence to consumers as they shop and use connected devices, the framework will initially focus on connected home and wearable/fitness technologies. OTA’s vision is to use this framework as the basis for a potential certification program for IoT devices and their applications.
“With the rapid introduction of IoT products, we must ensure that security and privacy best practices are integrated to maximize consumer protection,” said Craig Spiezle, Executive Director and President of OTA. We welcome industry leaders to join in the multi-stakeholder effort to raise the bar and make security, privacy and sustainability key product attributes.”
The next full working group meeting is on June 16th in Mountain View, Calif. The draft framework reflects input submitted since January from a consortium of leaders including the security and privacy community, app developers, manufacturers and international retailers. Interested parties and subject matter experts may apply to join the working group and its by-weekly calls by contacting OTA. Input from this meeting will be shared publicly on June 17th at the TRUSTe IoT Privacy Summit being hosted in Menlo Park.
The trust framework answers the White House’s call for an IoT certification program much like the UL Seal of Approval, an independent safety certification for appliances. It will propose that devices be verified through a combination of self-certification and third-party auditing against a set of published criteria. Initial goals of the framework include:
- Aid consumers’ ability to confidently make purchase decisions based on vendors’ commitment to privacy and security.
- Provide prescriptive guidance to manufacturers and developers to adopt best practices that reduce device vulnerabilities while enhancing consumer privacy and product sustainability.
- Provide retailers and ecommerce sites with criteria to aid in their product merchandising decisions.
- Encourage collaboration and sharing of best practices among participants and industries.
- Demonstrate a commitment to meaningful self-regulation.
“We welcome OTA’s initiative to extend the work of the IoT Privacy Tech Working Group to include the security and sustainability issues arising out of the explosion of data collection from connected devices,” said TRUSTe CEO Chris Babel. “Considering that 79 percent of U.S. consumers are concerned about data collected by connected devices, we urge companies to join this important endeavor to develop clear standards for privacy and security in the Internet of Things.”
Interested parties may apply to join the working group and comment on the draft framework. To attend the General Meeting on June 16 in Mountain View visit https://iotwg.eventbrite.com.