Avoiding Claims Under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in Connection with Software and Firmware Updates

Socially Aware

21 Oct 2020

Alex Lawrence and Geary Choe authored an article for the Socially Aware blog covering the potentially broad application of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and why technology companies should be mindful of providing specific advance notice when software and firmware updates may impact product or computer performance.

Looking at a recent ruling in Parziale v. HP, Inc., arising out of the implementation by Hewlett-Packard of a remote firmware update on many models of the company’s printers, the warning on their store page was “quite clear that non-HP cartridges may not continue to work after the update,” the authors wrote, and given the clear notice, the judge in this case did not have much trouble dismissing all claims against them.

“But other cases alleging that software or firmware was updated ‘without authorization’ and caused damage may not be so clear cut,” they added. “Such cases may necessitate fact-intensive inquiries. Companies that fail to give clear advance notice as to the impact of their updates may find themselves in a weaker position.”

Read the full article.



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