Product liability in the case of defective software has still not been realized despite years of demands. The new German government now wants to change that, as Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has revealed. Accordingly, the government plans a manufacturer liability for software defects.
Manufacturers liable for defective software
For eight years now, the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) has been demanding that software manufacturers be held liable for defective or faulty solutions. So far, however, this demand has not yet been implemented.
This will change very soon, however, as Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser (SPD) confirmed during the currently taking place 18th German IT Security Congress. Manuel Höferlin, domestic policy spokesman for the FDP, also supports Faeser’s proposal. Accordingly, the new federal government seems to have finally addressed the issue of liability for software defects.
Negligent software defects
From now on, manufacturers will have to pay for damages negligently caused by software defects within their products. However, concrete details on this are currently not yet available.
Last year, the CCC submitted a formulation aid for digital in the new government program. It calls for “liability in the event of uncorrected or clustered IT security problems, including an insurance obligation, mandatory specification of an expiry date and a minimum operating guarantee for all software components on the devices and any backends necessary for their function.”
Federal Office for Information Security to be expanded
At the same time, Interior Minister Feaser announced the expansion of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). In the future, the agency is to be expanded into a central office in the federal-state relationship, which should improve cooperation and optimize procedures and processes.
The BSI is the organizer of the digital IT congress, but has so far only been consulted by the states on a case-by-case basis. The 18th German IT Security Congress will continue on February 2. So even today, some decisions or drafts could still be launched.