Amazon has accredited Kudelski IoT Labs as an independent tester of products with built-in Alexa capabilities. The news will benefit any third-party manufacturers that are currently developing IoT devices that are planning to integrate Alexa Voice Services into their design.
As it stands, Amazon insists that any Alexa Built-in device must complete a rigorous security review before being certified for release. The developer is responsible for contracting an independent security expert before submitting to Amazon as part of that process.
Those third-party manufacturers can now turn to Kudelski to fulfill that obligation. The organization can test a wide range of connected devices, from consumer products like speakers and headphones all the way to switches, lighting setups, and smart vehicles.
The test is set up as a form of quality control. Amazon wants to ensure that each Alexa product will protect the privacy and the personal information of customers using the device.
“Adding a digital voice assistant to your product has huge benefits, but it must be done securely in order to prevent privacy issues and breaches of customer trust if hackers strike,” said Kudelski Group IoT SVP Hardy Schmidbauer. “Customers are becoming increasingly aware of security-related issues and are looking for products that guarantee the privacy and safety of their families, so we are happy to help implementers ensure that both their AVS integration as well as their entire IoT ecosystem are secure and robust against attack.”
Kudelski will be able to test devices before launch, and will also be able to test any major updates for products that have already been released.
While Kudelski will help maintain the integrity of third party devices, it is worth noting that Amazon itself been called out for its own invasive privacy and data collection practices. In July of 2019, the company was hit with a class action lawsuit that alleges that it used Alexa to record children without proper consent. Before that, Alexa drew the ire of privacy advocates when it unknowingly sent someone’s private in-home conversation to a co-worker.