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California's New Law for the Internet of Things

By William Vogeler, Esq. on December 10, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

It's official: robots have taken over the world.

According to reports, there are about seven billion internet-enabled devices on the planet -- and that doesn't include the robots that aren't on the internet. The number is expected to reach 21.5 billion by 2025.

What does it all mean, other than you can easily find them on sale for Christmas? In California, it means lawmakers want more security.

"Reasonable Security"

Something about robots running your home is inherently unsettling. They can turn on the music, dispense ice, clean up, and basically have a party while you're gone.

But that's not what is making California legislators nervous. They have passed a new law that says internet-connected devices must have "reasonable security" to protect stored or transmitted information.

That's because the Internet of Things, or things like smart stereos, refrigerators, and vacuums, have weak security features. In other words, hackers could steal your identity through a wall socket.

Not every internet vulnerability ends with a drained savings account. Sometimes, it's just embarrassing.

Smart Device Failures

Ironically, smart locks have repeatedly failed security standards. It has been an embarrassment to the industry and to hundreds of homeowners locked out of their houses.

Of course, the bigger problem is that so-called smart locks have opened up rather easily. In one case, one hack could have opened any smart lock.

The biggest problem is that the internet-connected devices could be used to open many more doors. Like doors of information from banks, stores, airports -- virtually everywhere with internet access.

In the meantime, you can still get plenty of unregulated, internet-enabled gadgets. The California law doesn't go into effect until 2020.

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