Law and technical progress do not proceed parallel, a fact that becomes particularly clear in industry. Automation density increases, processes are interconnected, different data sources are used. Work is performed across company boundaries, and this creates considerable dependencies. Who is liable when a part fails of when a machine makes a mistake?
In this context, data protection and IT security are as relevant as liability questions in accident scenarios or in the case of product defects. Be it in development, production or logistics – entirely new possibilities for production are emerging, but so too are complex legal issues.
The diversity of the legal framework is illustrated, for instance, by the following case. A company has a new production line installed by engineers who are employed by the manufacturer. The line is controlled by software that was programmed by an external service provider. An accident occurs during production – a worker is hit by a machine arm. Claims must be clarified in such a case. Who is responsible for the injury? Who is liable for damage to property, if any? Which law applies? Does labour protection law or criminal law apply?