This is the third in a series of blogs examining the rapid development of the Internet of Things (IoT) and its consequential impact on product liability risk. The development of the IoT has been so rapid and the applications so ubiquitous across every imaginable industry and commercial enterprise that there has been a failure by many businesses to recognize that with interconnectivity of so many products and services, security is only as strong as the weakest link within the chain of interconnected products.
This structural weakness became all too evident when Fiat Chrysler announced on July 24, 2015, the recall of 1.4 million vehicles due to a cyber security flaw disclosed by technology journal Wired. Hackers were able to remotely commandeer a Jeep’s controls through the vehicle’s Internet communications systems. (See “Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on the Highway – With Me in It,” Wired, July 2015.) Along those same lines, the vulnerability of most current-model automobiles was identified and publicized recently by two separate government investigations. (See FTC report and Senator Markey’s report.)