How a software bug could land you 10 years in jail

Careful coding the order of the day...

"It was clear from dealing with the millennium date change issue that manufacturers and suppliers, despite knowing that there was scope for problems with software driving safety critical applications, failed to supply safe and suitable software."

The millennium bug. Remember it? It may feel like a lifetime ago, but the IT industry's favourite creepy crawly is back and this time it's personal. Eighteen months after the whole brouhaha died down, the UK's Health and Safety Executive has released a paper suggesting software suppliers should be held criminally negligent when damage has been caused by events that could have been predicted.

"Place a duty of care on manufacturers, developers and suppliers etc, of computer software, where its use affects a safety critical function, to supply software that is safe, so far as it is reasonably practicable, when it is being used for its intended purpose of work."

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