The Changing Digital Landscape
In the 21st century our lives are becoming more digital as we start to rely on connected devices, like mobile phones, automated vehicles and smart fridges, i.e. products that utilise and are often reliant on software that can change over time (whether by a software update or artificial intelligence, “AI”, such as machine learning).
Historically, the law has been slow to afford the same protections to software as it does to tangible products. The UK’s Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) recently sought the public’s views on possible changes to UK product safety post-Brexit, including to address new technologies; and, similarly, the European Commission plans to remove obstacles to consumers bringing claims in respect of digital products.
Partner and Head of Product Liability Daniel West looks at the protections historically afforded to purchasers of software, the ongoing review of the law in the area (both in the UK and in the EU) and the recent decision of the CJEU in The Software Incubator Ltd v Computer Associates (UK) Ltd.