Welcome to the week in SEO! Every Saturday, Supersede Media will trawl the internet and bring together a delightful smörgåsbord of the top stories, updates, tips and general happenings in the world of tech. Here’s what you need to know from the past 7 days!
This week saw a double dose of strict sanctions, along with some good news for those skilled at tech repair. Let’s go!
New UK Law Imposes Tough Standards On Smart Device Manufacturers
From the virtual assistant that wakes us up in the morning with our favourite song, to the trusty fitness tracker that records our steps and ensures we stay hydrated throughout the day, we’ve all become accustomed to the joys of smart devices. As innocent and convenient as they may seem, though, they are not without risk. Research has shown that only 1 in 5 manufacturers of smart devices equip them with adequate security measures. This is worrying when you consider that just one vulnerable device could open up your entire household network to hackers. That’s because when one device is breached, the personal data on all other gadgets becomes much easier to steal.
To combat this problem, on Wednesday the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill (PSTI) was introduced to Parliament. The bill imposes strict standards on manufacturers, importers and distributors of smart devices*. The bill includes:
- A complete ban on default passwords. All passwords on new devices must be unique, with no way to revert to the original factory settings.
- A requirement for device manufacturers to inform customers about the timing of important security updates.
- Rules that require manufacturers to establish a point of contact for researchers or members of the public to report any bugs or flaws.
It’ll cost them!
Julie Lopez, Minister for Media, Data and Digital Infrastructure, explained:
“Our Bill will put a firewall around everyday tech from phones and thermostats to dishwashers, baby monitors and doorbells, and see huge fines for those who fall foul of tough new security standards.”
And she wasn’t lying about those huge fines! The limit is set at £10 million (or 4% of a firm’s global revenue). Companies that continue to flout the rules face fines of up to £20,000 a day.
* The bill covers devices that connect to the internet and devices that are able to connect to multiple other devices (even if they themselves cannot access the internet). It does not include desktop computers, laptops or smart meters.
Apple Announces Self Service Repair Option For Customers
Image source: Joel Rohland (via Unsplash)
If you’ve owned an Apple product you know how hard it is to secure an appointment at a Genius Bar. The self-titled geniuses (an argument for another day) must be busier than Santa’s elves because those precious support sessions are like gold dust. It came as a pleasant surprise, then, when Apple published a press release announcing a new Self Service Repair option would soon be on the cards.
Starting with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, “customers who are comfortable with completing their own repairs”, will gain access to genuine Apple parts, tools and manuals so they can do it themselves. Self Service Repair will launch early next year in the US and is expected to roll out to the rest of the world over the course of 2022.
As a company that makes a lot of money from repairs and isn’t exactly famous for designing products with longevity in mind (remember the uproar when they removed the headphone jack?!), Apple’s announcement is met with a healthy dose of cynicism. It is highly possible that this move is an attempt to swerve the imposition of ‘right to repair’ laws, which are starting to pick up steam in the UK.
Whatever your view of this news, please remember: just because you have the option to do it yourself does not mean you should. If tech repairs aren’t your forte you could end up causing even more damage! Sometimes it really does require a Genius.
Russia To Top Tech Firms: Build Offices Here Or Face Sanctions
On Monday Russia’s state communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, presented a list of 13 tech companies that it says must establish offices in Russia by the close of 2021, or face sanctions. The list mainly focuses on US companies, and includes Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok. The confusing thing is, many of these companies already have offices on Russian soil.
The warning follows the signing of a law in early July by President Vladimir Putin, which requires social media companies with a daily Russian audience of at least 500,000 to open offices in the country.
According to Reuters, in addition to setting up offices, the tech companies are also required to create accounts with the Russian regulator. Some suggest this is to make it easy for Roskomnadzor to issue direct complaints.
Punishments for disobeying the rules range from restrictions on advertising and data collection, to a complete ban. Many of the companies listed have already received fines this year for failing to remove content that Russia deems illegal.
Roskomnadzor is currently refusing to provide any more clarity on the matter.
Other tech news on our radar…
- Apple Sues Israeli Spyware Firm NSO Group for Surveillance of Users
- Microsoft Bing Launched Page Insights
- NFT is Collins Dictionary’s Word of the Year
Step up your SEO game
Fancy upgrading your SEO or content skills? Check out the resources below!
- 5 Buyer Persona Examples that Go Beyond the Basics
- A Data Science Approach to Optimising Internal Link Structure
- 8 Effective Marketing Channels in 2021 (And How We Use Them)
That’s all the SEO news and tips we have for now! We’ll be back in 7 days to do it all over again. Have a great weekend and a productive week! Ta-ra!