Technology and the Law: Dealing With Legislative Lags

One of the more fascinating topics that you can look into these days is the relationship between technology and the law. Because technology is by definition, always in progress, it’s going to be ahead of the curve when it comes to legislature. It’s impossible to legislate things that haven’t happened yet, and the secondary effects of technology won’t be known until they happen.

Because of this, you may end up in a situation where you have to deal with these legislative lags as they concern technology. Think of a few examples. If some new kind of technology personally injures you, how is that court case going to work? 

Crimes concerning cryptocurrency are still in new legislative territory. And other forms of digital fraud don’t have any precedent, so lawyers and judges have to figure out how to handle them on a case-by-case basis.

Personal Injuries Due To New Technology

New technology is around us all the time. You can take an example of new automotive technology when it comes to self-driving cars. But then think about the law regarding this technology. Who is at fault if a personal injury occurs because of a self-driving car? 

Is it the car manufacturer? Is it the company that is doing the testing of the vehicle? Who gets sued in a court case? Because there is no precedent in cases like this, it can be complicated to decide where compensation should come from.


I’m sure you’ve heard the news of cryptocurrency crimes. How do the court systems handle these cases? Because there are so much anonymity and lack of transparency regarding how these financial transactions occur, a legal system that is not ready for claims and counterclaims will have difficulty in figuring out what is what. Especially with the first few cases that come to court, very close attention will have to be paid to what types of legislation will be required in the future.

Digital Fraud

Related to the idea of crimes using cryptocurrency is the concept of digital fraud. Think of all of the cases where crimes may or may not be committed in the digital realm because there is no law to prevent it explicitly. Particularly when it comes to news about online hate crimes, legislators are at a disadvantage. 

Because no laws are in place to fight against specific kinds of online behavior, it’s impossible to criminally accused people who are doing terrible things. Without the right amount of attention to these topics, the legal system won’t move quickly enough to make sure people aren’t getting harassed.

One of the most common types of digital fraud you hear about these days is identity theft. Though laws are catching up to it to fight these crimes, they aren’t entirely up to date.

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