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Partner Geoffrey North authored an article published in the November 2016 issue of Financier Worldwide. The article, "Injury in fact and the metaphysical risk of hacking in connected devices," discusses the 2015 ruling in Cahen v. Toyota Motor Corporation

Articles / October 12, 2016

Partner Geoffrey North authored an article published in the November 2016 issue of Financier Worldwide. The article, “Injury in fact and the metaphysical risk of hacking in connected devices,” discusses the 2015 ruling in Cahen v. Toyota Motor Corporation that dismissed a putative class action that focused on the vulnerability of connected cars to hacking. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that the plaintiffs failed to show that they had been injured simply because the cars might be vulnerable to hacking. However, North’s article notes that as the number of connected devices expands – to industry, power grids, medical devices, etc. – with the rise of the Internet of Things, this issue is likely to persist. North concludes:

The liabilities to manufacturers are potentially enormous, particularly if courts permit plaintiffs to point to risks of speculative future harm as a basis for their “injury in fact” theory. Manufacturers would be well-advised to monitor these cases as they consider whether to bring (Internet of Things)-related products to market and how to address specific potential vulnerabilities in those devices, particularly at this stage, while regulatory standards for connected devices have not yet been established.

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