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CEDIA Speaks on Behalf of Integrators in Comments to FCC

    CEDIA, the trade association that represents smart home professionals, has really ramped up its advocacy efforts over the past year, most recently by submitting comments to the Federal Communications Commission on their proposed U.S. Cyber Trust Mark program. Announced earlier this year, the program intends to establish a process similar to the ENERGY STAR program, though the Cyber Trust Mark would certify products based on a series of security requirements.

    The filing, submitted by CEDIA during a recent open call for comments, acknowledged the importance of the new program, but also emphasized the need to involve qualified integrators in the process to ensure consumers are truly safeguarding their homes.

    “Beyond establishing a U.S. Cyber Trust Mark program … it will be vital that consumers continue to work with qualified smart home professionals (‘integrators’) to provide technology systems solutions in the home,” the filing reads. “Integrators, the professionals who install, configure, and integrate the technology ecosystem, have extensive knowledge of technology-solutions for the home that can materially advance both security and cybersecurity.”

    The filing goes on to say that integrators can also help support the program through training and educating consumers on the Cyber Trust Mark itself as well as the nuances of the IoT category, and through maintenance of consumers’ smart home systems as technology advances and new products and standards are developed.

    “CEDIA is prepared to work with Commission in meeting the program’s goals while supporting our members, educating consumers, and advancing technological innovations and standards,” the statement reads. “Integrators will play a key role in the success of this program by educating clients on cybersecurity solutions that support effective and safe use of technology within the home. CEDIA looks forward to working with the Commission, staff, and other industry stakeholders on this important program to support technology solutions in the smart home technology industry.”

    More On The U.S. Cyber Trust Mark

    Proposed by FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel earlier this year, the program is intended to “raise the bar for cybersecurity across common devices” and “help Americans more easily choose smart devices that are safer and less vulnerable to cyberattacks.” In addition, the program would benefit participating businesses by helping them differentiate their product in the marketplace by having them classified as “trustworthy.”

    Similar to the ENERGY STAR mark that comes out of energy the Environmental Protection Agency’s efficiency ratings, the new U.S. Cyber Trust Mark will be placed on product that meets the yet-to-be-finalized set of standards. Products like smart televisions, doorbell cameras, connected thermostats, fitness trackers, and even smart appliances would all be subject to scrutiny through the program. A number of major appliance and consumer electronics manufacturers have already voluntarily made commitments to following the new standards, including Google, LG Electronics USA and Samsung.

    With the public comment period now closed, the FCC turns its attention towards reviewing the feedback, making any adjustments to the program it deems necessary, and preparing for a rollout of the U.S. Cyber Trust Mark in 2024.

    This article was first published on the Independent Thinking blog.