Endpoint Security , Internet of Things Security

Product Labels Could Make IoT Risks More Transparent

Scholar Says Consumers Like Nutrition-Style Labels for IoT
Pardis Emami-Naeini

Manufacturers are increasingly adding connectivity to everyday devices, but it's not always evident how privacy and security is managed.

See Also: The Weaponization of IoT Devices

Often it takes a technical examination to figure out if a device has up-to-date firmware or what data its sensors are collecting. But researchers with Carnegie Mellon University have developed a prototype of a packaging label that would describe at a glance some of the most important privacy and security characteristics.

It's similar in style to nutrition labels on food packaging (see: IoT Privacy and Security: Will Product Labels Help Buyers).

Consumers who participated in the university's study expressed concern that they could not find information about the privacy and security of smart devices at the point of sale, says Pardis Emami-Naeini, a post-doctoral scholar at Carnegie Mellon.

"Mostly, consumers do not have that much time to search for this information," she says. "They really want to see that on the product package or online."

In this video interview, Emami-Naeini discusses:

  • Why privacy and security labelling resonates with connected device buyers;
  • What type of information labels will contain;
  • Whether connected devices makers manufacturers will voluntarily embrace a privacy and security label.

Pardis Emami-Naeini is a scholar at Carnegie Mellon University and recently completed a doctoral degree in societal computing. She works on creating tools and methods to better inform people about IoT privacy and security practices.


About the Author

Jeremy Kirk

Jeremy Kirk

Managing Editor, Security and Technology, ISMG

Kirk is a veteran journalist who has reported from more than a dozen countries. Based in Sydney, he is Managing Editor for Security and Technology for Information Security Media Group. Prior to ISMG, he worked from London and Sydney covering computer security and privacy for International Data Group. Further back, he covered military affairs from Seoul, South Korea, and general assignment news for his hometown paper in Illinois.




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