Computer "Insecurity" and Viral Attacks : Liability Issues Regarding Unsafe Computer Systems Under Quebec Law
Article [Version of Record]
Is part ofLex electronica ; vol. 9, no. 1.
Publisher(s)Université de Montréal. Centre de recherche en droit public.
In a context where computer viruses present a serious risk to networks around the globe, there is a need to create liability for companies who do not maintain adequate security. Quebec courts have yet to be presented with a case involving computer virus liability. This article attempts to draw a general outlook of viral liability in relation to general liability principles under Quebec law. The author proposes ways of interpreting the traditional three-pronged test composed of fault, damage and causal link, stressing on the standard of care imposed on a system administrator. Regarding this key player, some general provisions can go a long way in limiting its liability. In addition, manufacturers and distributors may also share liability in proportion to the seriousness of their fault. Businesses have a legal duty to ensure that their systems are secure to protect the interests of their customers as well as third parties.