Recently, the FDA recalled almost a half million pacemakers over concerns that a hacker could access the devices, run the batteries down, or worse, alter the patient’s heartbeat. The Guardian reports that the issue was discovered in 2016 by MedSec, a cybersecurity firm that researches potential security issues in the medical device industry.
The recall will not require a removal of the pacemaker, which could be a dangerous medical procedure for the approximately 465,000 individuals impacted by the recall. Instead, a firmware update will be administered by medical staff to patch the security holes. The manufacturer of the device reports that the risk of hacking is extremely low, but the firmware update and recall will be expensive.
Connecting everyday devices to the internet is convenient, and it allows companies to do incredible things. However, as the number of “Internet of Things” (IoT) devices continue to expand into nearly every aspect of our daily lives, businesses need to aggressively identify how the information these devices utilize, and the personal information they store, can be kept safe and confidential. Lawyers who try cases also need to remain mindful of the myriad of ways this information may be relevant and material to the issues you are litigating.