CPSC Announces Public Hearing into Internet-Connected Devices

On May 16, 2018 the CPSC will hold its first public hearing seeking comments related to potential safety concerns and hazards of devices connected to the internet.  Underwriters Laboratories has estimated by 2020 that there will be 20 billion devices connected to the internet. The CPSC is specifically focused (but not limited to) concerns related to fire, burn, shock, tripping and falling, laceration, contusion and chemical exposure hazards from devices which are connected to the internet.  The CPSC specifically excluded from its review personal data security and privacy issues. 

In it’s notice, the CPSC identifies the potential product safety challenges as falling into two broad categories:

1) Prevention or elimination of hazardous conditions designed into products intentionally or without sufficient consideration (e.g. high-risk remote operation or network enabled control of products or features).

2) Preventing and addressing incidents of hazardization (e.g. where product safe when obtained by consumer, but when connected to internet, becomes hazardous through malicious, incorrect, or careless changes to operational code).

Delving into the internet-connected product arena is an idea that has been a long time coming. The public hearing begins at 10am EST and more information can be found at the CPSC site:  cpsc.gov