On 21 February, ANEC Deputy Secretary-General, Chiara Giovannini (also member of the PROGRESSIVE Advisory Board), spoke in the European Committee of Domestic Equipment Manufacturers (CECED) workshop ‘Challenges and Opportunities of Smart Appliances in the Home’.
She stressed that smart appliances can bring social and economic benefits to consumers, but the potential opportunities will be achieved only if services and products can be designed with trust, privacy and security built in so that consumers feel that they are fair and safe to use. Security by design and default needs to become a priority for manufacturers. She noted that their members have tested several connected products available on the market, and unfortunately, the present situation in terms of legislation and standardisation in Europe falls short in meeting consumer expectations.
Chiara concluded by highlighting that, in addition to new legislation, granular tools are necessary to deal with new risks and challenges, and that standards can be a formidable tool for embedding values, such as security and privacy, in product design. Hence it is the right balance of legal requirements, standardisation and market surveillance that can deliver consumer protection.