20. Manufacturers of ICT hardware and software shall be liable for negligent security failures that cause harm.

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Rapporteur: Metta Spencer

Unless you live in a cave, you probably depend on a refrigerator, online bank account, airline traffic control system, oil pipeline, water treatment plant, car, subway, electric power plant, WiFi router, and maybe your pacemaker(1) and insulin pump.(2) Nowadays all of those things can be controlled by computers that can be hacked.(3) When that happens, whose fault is it, and what can you do about it?

If you ask a court who’s to blame, the judge will probably pin it all on a hacker criminal, who probably cannot be found. Yes, the hacker is the main culprit, but the programmers enabled him by writing buggy software that their company’s executives hurriedly sold without having it tested properly. The negligent vendors of such inferior products should be held accountable.
If you buy a TV set that explodes (and that has actually happened!) the manufacturer is liable for damages, but if you buy software, you probably don’t actually own it; you’ve just paid for a license to use it. (Remember that “terms of service” agreement you signed without reading it? That’s when you signed away your claims against the manufacturer, who now cannot be held liable for the software’s shoddy performance or its vulnerability to hacking. But you didn’t have much choice. You could take or leave it, so you signed, as we all do.)

The relevant laws are unlikely to be changed until internet insecurity becomes lethal. So far, the harm that hackers inflict is mostly inconvenience or financial loss—and the financial losses are far greater than the public knows. Banks and corporations avoid publicity about such events.

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Clueless governments

With such fast-paced technological advancement, how will governments keep up with policies that protect its citizens?

We need more government regulation on software controlled components…

If they sell it, they should be responsible for making it work

We should hold all conglomerates responsible for their faulty technology! Since they’re selling us these products, they have to ensure our safety as the consumer!

This is a company that delivers iOT solutions…it might be worth investing in…

I don’t understand a word on their website except that they plan to hold a couple of open conferences soon — one in Barcelona and the other in Bengaluru, India.

Importance of Real-Time Reports and Traceability in Software Testing

In this rather technical article for coders, Somesh Roy discusses the factors that cannot be resolved unless there are good reports kept that can be traced. (Or: How are you going to fix it if you can’t find it?)


Software companies rush to get their products to market, buggy or not

Yes, accidents do happen, even to careful people. But careful programmers and their demanding bosses can greatly reduce the bugginess of software. They will do so only when the law holds them responsible for bad results.