Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Leaked personal data causes people to sue

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/05/17/yahoo_softbank/

Can someone actually sue a company because of a software bug that caused no other damage other than leaked personal information (like name, address etc.) ?.

Karthik
Monday, May 17, 2004

Ummm.  Looks like they can, and did.

Oren Miller
Monday, May 17, 2004

One day, we'll be able to sue for buggy software...

MediocreDev
Monday, May 17, 2004

> One day, we'll be able to sue for buggy software...

You know who's strongly opposed to this? The open source fruitcakes.


Monday, May 17, 2004

>You know who's strongly opposed to this? The open source fruitcakes.

Are you simple?? There IS a fair dose of fruitcakes involved with open source software, but I doubt ANY commercial software developer would agree to pay fines if their software is buggy...

Wow, talk about ignoring the obvious...

MediocreDev
Monday, May 17, 2004

Oren,

<<Ummm.  Looks like they can, and did. >>

I meant in the United States

Karthik
Monday, May 17, 2004

Sure, software developers would not be interested in getting fined for "buggy" software.

I just think it's pretty interesting that the open source fruitcakes, who claim higher moral ground, claim to have the users' interests at heart, and claim that many eyes remove all the bugs, are petrified of these so-called lemon software laws.

Open sourcers are far more worried about these laws than normal developers, which must say something, I think.


Monday, May 17, 2004

Wow blank, that's quite the strawman argument you've got there.

Almost Anonymous
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

If you need a counter case, Im him :)

Im a commerical developer and _Im_ petrified of those same lemon software laws.

How will I deal with them if they happen?

In order to avoid being sued for a bug that I couldn't find, I will have to seriously limit the hardware that my software runs on.
"supported only for blah blah blah"

I will also have to seriously limit the software that my software wil run alongside of"

"supported only if nothing else is running except this software"

I will require exceptions to be granted in the case of sunspots affecting the hardware. (look up "java machine security exploit)

I will also insist that my software is only supported on machines that have a verified journaling system _and_ a verified backup system running 8 times an hour.

It will additionally have to be used only by verified users.

By "verified" I will mean software x version y by people who have been personally interviewed by me, cause thats the only one I will have tested with.

I will, in fact, commission my software to run only on one (1) computer and configuration...my own, used by me..

In _all_ other cases my software will be unsupported and you will be running it at your own risk.

because software is _complex_, if I cannot control where it is running or how it is used or who is controlling it then I cannot be held responsible for what it is doing.

FullNameRequired
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

No reason to feed the troll.

Blank here is either trolling or completely out of touch with reality; either way, feeding him is a waste of time.

Ori Berger
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

I'm happy to withdraw this whole line of discussion. I'm not keen on lemon laws either. I was just commenting on something I consider downright fascinating.


Tuesday, May 18, 2004

No, blank, it's not 'fascinating'. My 12-inch penis, on the other hand, which all the ladies love, is fascinating.

Long Dong Wong
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

This bank were providing a service and they failed.

How is this related to lemon laws?  Lemon laws are about fitness-for-purpose, right?

(And the cynic in me wonders if this is about compensation for invasion of privacy, or just about money?  Americans might have more insight into suing..?)

i like i
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

"Can someone actually sue a company because of a software bug that caused no other damage other than leaked personal information"

Sure, especially if its medical information (at least in the US), re:HIPPA

Yo
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

You can sue on anything you like, its the practicality of succeeding and the amount of damages versus the costs that control whether it happens or not.

Simon Lucy
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

This is the country where a woman got a quarter of a million dollars from McDonalds because the cup of hot coffee she poured in her lap was hot. So sure, you can sue for anything.

Tom H
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

>> I just think it's pretty interesting that the open source fruitcakes, who claim higher moral ground, claim to have the users' interests at heart, and claim that many eyes remove all the bugs, are petrified of these so-called lemon software laws.
>>Open sourcers are far more worried about these laws than normal developers, which must say something, I think.

How could open source developers be at all worried about these laws?  I'm certainly not concerned since all projects, mine included, sensibly provide a disclaimer that the code is available "as is" without any sort of warranty.

The people who sell software (closed source or open) or services are the ones who would have to worry about these laws.

Matt
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

The wioman in the Macdonald's case was seriously burned and had a load of medical bills as well as pain. The damages were notoriiously high because it was proved that MacDonalds were quite aware that selling coffee at the temparature they did in plastic or paper cups to people in cars was unsalfe, but refused to lower the temperature because they were afraid of lost sales from those who drank it later. It's the equivalent of a company not only not recaliing cars when they find out about a design fault that will affect safety but continuing to sell cars with the design fault because fixing it would affect the aesthetics of the car and thus impact on sales.

Stephen Jones
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home