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Grindr Harassment Victim Asks: Are Tech Companies Immune From Product Liablity Laws?

Why is Grindr being sued by means of Matthew Herrick, an aspiring actor operating in a cafe in New York? “His former partner created fake profiles on the app to impersonate Herrick and then direct men to show up at Herrick’s home and the restaurant where he worked asking for sex, sometimes more than a dozen times per day.”

But 14 police experiences later, Herrick’s lawsuit is now arguing that all tech firms will have to face higher duty for what occurs on their platforms, experiences NBC News:
His lawsuit alleges that the software developers who write code for Grindr have been negligent, generating an app that is faulty in its design and that’s “fundamentally unsafe” and “unreasonably dangerous” — echoing language that is extra in most cases utilized in complaints about, say, a erroneous kitchen equipment or a faulty automotive phase. If a hit, the lawsuit may carry a few vital felony exchange to the hazards tech firms face for what occurs on their platforms, including to rising public and political power for exchange. “This is a case about a company abdicating responsibility for a dangerous product it released into the stream of commerce,” his lawsuit argues, including: “Grindr’s inaction enables the weaponization of its products and services….”

In courtroom, Grindr is depending at the extra sweeping protection allowed by means of the 1996 regulation referred to as the Communications Decency Act. The act’s Section 230 has been interpreted by means of courts to immunize web services and products from legal responsibility for content material posted on-line by means of 3rd events — whether or not ex-boyfriends or differently. That immunity, although, is topic to a raging debate about whether or not social media firms and different tech corporations will have to be so loose to introduce merchandise with out a lot forethought concerning the hazards they may create…. Herrick’s case has drawn passion from the tech business, its supporters and its critics who see his lawsuit as a check for a imaginable new felony concept for containing tech corporations to account.
“When you make a manufacturer effectively immune, it means that the consequences will be borne by the user,” stated Marc Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. But will have to tech firms face product legal responsibility rules typically reserved for home equipment? “As people have started to purchase more information-related items, we have to reconsider how we classify those things,” argues Christopher Robinette, a regulation professor at Widener University.

If Herrick’s swimsuit is a hit, NBC experiences it “could reshape consumers’ relationship with software, alter speech protections online and put pressure on Silicon Valley to find flaws in products before introducing them to the world.” But what do Slashdot’s readers assume?

Should tech firms be immune from product legal responsibility rules?

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