The new safety-label of the Internet

Jul 26, 2018

Most connected devices are a black box. When you buy a smart toaster, you don’t know how much of your data it’s beaming up to cloud or whether its lax security has allowed it to become part of a bot network (which happened in 2016). How are you supposed to know which smart lightbulb you can trust?
Enter the Trustable Technology Mark. It’s like being certified organic, but for the Internet of Things. Supported by the Mozilla Foundation, NYU Law, the University of Dundee, and other institutions, the trustmark–a phrase for a logo that signifies a certification of some kind–aims to recognize companies building connected devices that have stellar data and privacy practices, are transparent and secure, and have some guarantee of longevity.
More at the Link.

What do you guys think of this? Redundant or needed? Is this something you hope will take off? Is this something you will propel businesses to strive towards more privacy features? Emblems for safety for industries like food and clothing has a lot of power, but they are arguably also manipulative in nature.
Jun 3, 2013
There's something incredibly visually appealing about it to me, I really like how that looks.

Also, if you squint hard and really try, you can kind of see a swastika in it, no?
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Apr 4, 2013
Dallas, TX
Something like this is definitely needed. If I had two devices that were close in comparison in performance and features I’d choose the one certified with this 100/100.
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Jan 27, 2018
I'd be all for this if there was some kind of audit process behind it. Unfortunately...

So far, two companies have been certified: a French smart assistant called Snips, and a German connected toy called Vai Kai. Both companies completed Trustable Tech’s self-assessment, which includes dozens of questions about product features, the development process, data management, and security by design practices. Once a company submits the assessment, Birh and two colleagues–Jason Schultz, the team’s legal lead and director of NYU’s Technology Law and Policy Clinic, and Ame Elliott, the design director at nonprofit Simply Secure–will look over their answers and decide whether they uphold the trustmark’s principles of privacy, security, transparency, stability, and openness. These experts’ inclusion, along with the credibility of the institutions that the trustmark is associated with, lends the Trustable Tech Mark a degree of validity.
(emphasis mine)

Birh readily acknowledges that the self-assessment is not a perfect process. But during his research into trustmarks, he realized that it was next to impossible to conduct third-party audits of companies’ proprietary software because it is so time-consuming and costly.
"We wanted to solve this problem, but without doing any work."
Apr 4, 2013
Dallas, TX
As an add-on to my earlier comment this thing has to have some weight to it. Like independent third party testing and certification. It can’t just be something companies self-police cause we’d be idiots to trust them to tell the truth.