VdTÜV Position: Information security of smart products in Europe

Does the regulatory framework for product safety remain up to the task in regard to smart products or is there a need for legislative adjustments? VdTÜV analyses the current EU legislation and proposes some recommendations for action.
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The Internet of Things (IoT) is a generation of new products and services which can communicate with one another. This refers to all products, installations, systems and applications which are software-based and have network access, meaning that they possess “smart” features and are therefore “smart products”. This also concerns products of public interest, such as medical devices, lifts or toys. It is a dynamically growing market which is increasingly gaining in importance. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) estimates that “about 20-50 billion devices will be hooked up to the Internet of Things by 2020”.

The European legislator is obligated, in particular, to ensure a high level of consumer protection. The regulatory framework must therefore guarantee that the relevant economic operators are able to have sufficient trust in the safety and security of smart products, so that these innovations experience the necessary acceptance and the potentials for growth are fully utilised.

The question is, however, whether the current regulatory framework for product safety remains up to the task in regard to smart products, or whether there exists the need for legislative adjustments.