Recently, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) issued a Public Notice announcing that it will be conducting a hearing on May 16, 2018 to receive information from all interested parties about potential safety issues and hazards associated with Internet-connected consumer products.

This hearing reflects the CPSC’s recognition that although IoT products hold the promise of many benefits for consumers, such products raise safety concerns where none existed in the past and pose a challenge for regulators, standards organizations, industry actors, and consumer advocates alike to address.  Accordingly, the CPSC has invited comment and testimony on over twenty questions raised in the Public Notice, broadly covering the following topics:

  • Hazards related to the use and misuse of IoT products;
  • IoT product safety standards (e.g., applicable existing safety standards and guidelines, voluntary vs. mandatory standards, appropriate standard-setting bodies);
  • Industry best practices for predicting, mitigating, and preventing IoT-caused hazards; and
  • The role of the CPSC and others in regulating IoT products (e.g., interagency and/or international collaboration, involvement of outside stakeholders, consumer education).

The CPSC will not consider the privacy or data security implications of IoT products at the hearing, as the Public Notice explains that such issues extend beyond the agency’s jurisdiction.

The hearing will take place at 10 AM on May 16, 2018 at the CPSC.  Requests to make oral presentations, and the written text of any oral presentations, must be received by the CPSC by no later than 5 PM on May 2, 2018.  The CPSC will, however, accept written comments through June 15, 2018.