IoT Liability: Playing the Blame Game
A worldwide market projected to exceed $1 trillion by 2025, the Internet of Things (IoT) offers tremendous benefits but also significant challenges. Benefits in that interconnected devices can lead to greater efficiency and higher quality. Challenges in that should such devices malfunction, civil liability can result.
“The IoT chain usually involves the device user, manufacturer, possibly its distributors, as well as the developers and vendors of the applications that allow the user to communicate with the device or for the device to communicate with other devices as part of its proper functioning,” explains Prachi Shah, senior counsel at Clyde & Co Canada LLP.
More than one application at issue
“There can also be more than one application at issue. Some applications may be marketed and sold at the direction of device manufacturers for the purpose of interfacing. Other apps may not meet these requirements and may involve variable levels of improvisation or DIY. The IoT chain also relies on a functioning network for communications to takeplace. “When things go wrong, an investigator may seek to answer any number of questions:
- Did the loT userfail to update an app when the update contained afix which might have prevented a hack?
- Was there an error in coding which resulted in a malfunctioningapplication? Is the issue more a traditional case ofproduct liability, involving physical parts of a devicebreaking, cracking or rusting prematurely?”
“These are just some of a number of possibilities created by the complexities of the loT chain of communication,” adds Ms Shah. ..Read More..