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Megan Brown Discusses Impact of Litigation on Innovators and Makers of IoT Devices

Communications Daily
March 30, 2017

Megan L. Brown, a partner in Wiley Rein’s Telecom, Media, and Technology Practice, was quoted extensively by Communications Daily in a March 30 article summarizing a recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce event, “Emerging Technologies & Torts of the Future.” Ms. Brown was a featured speaker at the event, which was webcast on March 29.

According to Ms. Brown and other panelists, tort law has not kept up with technology – and as a result, litigation involving devices such as autonomous vehicles and drones has become complicated. Ms. Brown said litigation is not the best way to resolve security issues or determine who should be doing what in the complex Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem. “The decision-makers are not expert, far from it,” she said. “And there’s a lot, currently, of definitional uncer­tainty in what we’re even talking about in the Internet of Things.”

Ms. Brown added that the litigation system is “anathe­ma” to collaboration and a speedy response in the quickly moving IoT universe. Litigation also can have a “chilling effect” on companies and innovators seeking to continually improve security, she said.

Additionally, she noted that when communication isn’t privileged or subject to confidentiality within a company, fear of litigation could affect collaboration in the development of a product. Ms. Brown said that states need to develop modern standards for evidentiary rules, and consumers need to be better educated on basic cyber hygiene and products.