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FCC Commissioner Starks calls on online marketplaces to stop the sale of insecure and unauthorized IoT devices

WASHINGTON – FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks sent letters to five online marketplaces to identify ways to stop the unlawful sale of insecure IoT devices that violate FCC equipment authorization requirements, March 8.

The letters raise concerns about recent reports (Consumer Reports, Washington Post) indicating that these websites sold and continue to sell easily hacked video doorbells, some of which lack a visible FCC ID, and in some cases appeared to promote listings for such products and otherwise engage in their sale, shipment, or distribution.

“Consumers have embraced the internet of things to make their lives better to the point that a large majority of American homes now have at least one or two IoT devices. With that reach and that penetration, these devices ought to be secure. That’s why I was angered to read recent reports showing that many video doorbells sold on some of the largest online marketplaces in the world lack even basic security measures and leave buyers exposed to chilling privacy invasions and network intrusions.”

The letters continue, “Just as concerning were reports suggesting that some of these products violated the FCC’s equipment authorization rules, which protect the public from risky products entering our wireless supply chain. The Biden Administration’s Cyber Trust Mark program – which the FCC plans to vote on next week – offers a strong path forward by helping consumers make smart buying decisions and incentivizing manufacturers and retailers to take IoT cybersecurity seriously. Working together, we must find better ways to stop risky and unlawful products from entering the commerce stream – and from seeing their sales irresponsibly boosted when they are listed online.”

The letters call for a response by March 22, 2024.

Submitted by the Federal Communications Commission.


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