TUV Rheinland is successfully continuing its digitization offensive with the founding of its “Competence Center IoT Privacy”. With immediate effect, the Competence Center means that the global testing service provider is offering a complete solution for all things relating to data protection in the Internet of Things (IoT) and, as a result, is positioning itself on the rapidly growing global IoT market dealing with the topic of protected privacy. The center located in Cologne has a portfolio that includes, in particular, a diverse range of privacy solutions for the networked home, which are offered globally. The focus here is on protected privacy certificates and consultation and training programs for product manufacturers and system suppliers.

Safeguarding data protection and privacy

The growing digital networking of devices and applications in the home means that smart home solutions are storing and processing increasing amounts of highly sensitive personal data. The EU General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) fulfills consumers’ demands for transparency about how their data is used. This regulation came into effect on May 25, 2016, and it defines, among other things, new legal requirements, such as considering data protection in product development (Privacy by Design). After the expiry of a two-year transition period, it will apply in EU countries from May 25, 2018, and, from this effective date, it will impose new requirements on, among others, smart home system manufacturers and installers offering products or services in EU countries. This includes, for example, the “right to be forgotten”. “Starting on May 25, 2018, customers can demand that product suppliers delete all personal data. If they do not fulfill the new requirements, they may face substantial fines and sanctions,” explains TUV Rheinland expert and IoT privacy specialist Gunter Martin, who heads the new Competence Center alongside Udo Scalla.

Competence partner for protected privacy

With the relevant TUV Rheinland protected privacy certificates, smart home solutions manufacturers offering their products or services in EU countries can prove to their customers that they guarantee data protection and data security in accordance with the EU GDPR. Moreover, the TUV Rheinland Competence Center offers individual support on the topic of protected privacy. “We show product manufacturers and system suppliers worldwide specific ways in which they can already begin reducing data collection to a defined minimum, and in doing so, strengthen their customers’ trust in smart home products. With regard to the short transition period until May 2018, we recommend that companies address the topic now as quickly as possible,” says Udo Scalla from TUV Rheinland.

Rounding off the Competence Center’s offering are smart home training programs focusing on topics such as the legal aspects, security issues, and test criteria of smart home installation, which are aimed primarily at installers, architects, and planners. The training programs are available in Germany in 2017 and will be rolled out internationally in 2018.