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Dutch regulators open investigation into smart device information

The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) and the Dutch Radiocommunications Agency (AT) have announced a joint investigation into the information provided to those buying smart devices.

The regulators will conduct research (link in Dutch) into how consumers are given information designed to keep their products safe and up to date throughout their lifespan. They will make test purchases to find out what information is provided on topics such as functionality, update policies and security.

Technology law expert Nienke Kingma of Pinsent Masons said the ACM had previously investigated the information provisions on software updates for smart devices.

“Back then, two years ago, these investigations resulted in the ACM urging a number of prominent players in the market to improve their information facilities. In these current investigations, both involved authorities have announced they will again take action in the event of violations, including sanctions or having devices withdrawn from the market,” Kingma said.

Pinsent Masons expert Gijs van Mansfeld said: “The announcement is a sign that the Dutch regulator places great importance on compliance with consumer law. The ACM is happy to make use of its proactive powers to increase the market impact of the rules.”

The announcement follows the recent publication of the EU’s plans for a new Data Act, which will regulate, among other issues, the control of data that is generated through such devices.

The EU’s Radio Equipment Directive is also subject to amendment. Proposals outlined last year would apply new legal requirements on cybersecurity, which manufacturers will have to take into account in the design and production of affected products.

The ACM and AT said they expected to publish the results of their investigation this summer.

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