[governance] TitaDYN

bzs at TheWorld.com bzs at TheWorld.com
Sun Oct 23 21:13:51 EDT 2016

On October 24, 2016 at 00:06 jcurran at istaff.org (John Curran) wrote:
 > On 23 Oct 2016, at 10:40 PM, bzs at theworld.com wrote:
 >     ...
 >     My suggested approach in other venues would be to investigate speaking
 >     to those manufacturers' product liability underwriters, this is
 >     probably already on their radar, about the potential risk they may not
 >     have assessed in those policies.
 >     Then, if premiums rise sharply, the manufacturers might well consider
 >     improving their products' safety and renogotiating with their
 >     underwriters.
 > Barry - 
 >   Are you asserting that IoT device manufacturers have a different level of
 > liability 
 >   exposure than existing personal computer hardware and software manufacturers 
 >   have had in the past (i.e. when their products have been used as part of
 > massive
 >   botnet attacks?)

If I were a manufacturer's defense team I might well try to draw that

But it's only an analogy, these are supposedly simple plug and play
devices such as "smart" lightbulbs or security cameras not general
purpose computers with for example many security options and add-ons.

And that was then and this is now.

Precedents on liability of software manufacturers set, often, decades
ago may be subject to change as the damage and perception of
negligence changes. What some got away with in 1998 may not seem
reasonable any more in 2016.

But my point evaded outright lawsuits and sought liability
underwriters' awareness of the potential exposure.

For them even winning can be expensive as their policies normally
cover legal costs even when the insured is successful. And out of
court settlements often soas to avoid precedents, etc.

I hate to think what's going on inside Samsung right now with their
Note 7 battery fiasco.

Samsung's costs due to their battery fire problems are estimated to go
into the billions of dollars and no doubt some of that is directly
related to liability claims, in court, out of court, successful,
unsuccessful, whatever, it all costs money.

A lot of Samsung's costs of course will be due to product replacements
but even if just that is found warranted vis a vis this IoT/Dyn
incident that's not cheap.

And there is the notion of "knew or should have known" that these IoT
products should have been engineered to some minimum standard. Always
a moving target with technology.

Underwriters must be watching all this closely, as well as
organizations such as the US FTC and similar.

        -Barry Shein

Software Tool & Die    | bzs at TheWorld.com             | http://www.TheWorld.com
Purveyors to the Trade | Voice: +1 617-STD-WRLD       | 800-THE-WRLD
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