Cyber security of wireless devices

Biel/Bienne, 25.08.2022 - Connected devices must better respect and protect users' privacy. New provisions in the OFCOM Ordinance on Telecommunications Installations (TIO) will strengthen the cyber security of certain wireless devices available on the Swiss market, such as smartphones, smart watches, fitness trackers and wireless toys. The revision comes into force on 1 September 2022. Manufacturers that design and produce devices or products affected by the revision have until 1 August 2024 to comply.

The new cyber security requirements set out in the revised TIO apply to many types of wireless, internet-connected devices. All such devices entering the Swiss market must be compliant by 1 August 2024. The changes are intended to better protect users' privacy and personal data, minimise the risk of monetary fraud and improve the resilience of communication networks.

Privacy safeguards

All wireless devices and products capable of communicating over the internet will need to include features that ensure the protection of personal data, especially where children are concerned. Manufacturers will have to implement new measures to prevent unauthorised access to or transmission of personal data by internet-connected devices such as toys, baby monitors and other childcare equipment, as well as wearables such as smart watches or fitness trackers.

Measures to prevent monetary fraud and protect networks

Smartphones or other wireless devices that can be used to make electronic payments will have to include features that significantly minimise the risk of fraud. For example, they will need to ensure better authentication control of the user.

In addition, wireless devices and products must not be able to interfere with communication networks or disrupt the functioning of websites or other services. They will therefore have to incorporate features to prevent these risks.

Alignment with EU legislation

These new provisions in the TIO bring Swiss legislation in line with that of the European Union. To facilitate the conformity assessment of products and their market acceptance, the European Standards Organisations are currently developing a set of harmonised standards. These should be available to EU and Swiss manufacturers by 30 September 2023.

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Federal Office of Communications