Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., and Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., on Oct. 22 reintroduced legislation in the Senate and House aimed at creating a voluntary system to certify cybersecurity protections for internet of things (IoT) devices.

The Cyber Shield Act would direct the Commerce Department to create an advisory committee with members from government, industry, and academia that would come up with cybersecurity benchmarks for IoT devices including consumer-oriented products such as phones, laptop computers, smart locks, home assistants, and baby monitors.

IoT device makers could then voluntarily certify that their products meet those standards, and could put “Cyber Shield” labels on their products, the lawmakers said.

“By creating a cybersecurity certification program, the Cyber Shield Act will give consumers a seal of approval for more secure products, as well as encourage manufacturers to adopt the best cybersecurity practices so they can compete in the marketplace for safety,” Sen. Markey said in a statement. He added, “the IoT will also stand for the Internet of Threats until we put in place appropriate cybersecurity safeguards.”

Sen. Markey introduced similar legislation in 2017, but the bill did not make it further than the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. A House version of the bill similarly died in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.