DHS Offering Special Liability/Immunity Protections for Companies

September 4, 2003

Beginning earlier this week, the Department of Homeland Security was scheduled to begin offering special liability/immunity protections to companies that develop technologies to help in the war against terrorism. Among the reported controversial products being developed are new technologies such as e-mail profiling and airport weapons response systems.

The Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (SAFETY) Act already has reportedly piqued the interest of major defense contractors, small startup companies and consultants who recommend technology products for their clients. Qualification under the Act will limit the producers’ liability enabling them to design new and innovative technologies.

Kevin Kalinich, a technology risk consultant for Aon Risk Services and advisor to the Department of Homeland Security’s Institute of Defense Analysis, said, “there are already a number of companies waiting for the qualification process to begin. It will only be a matter of time before we see what types of companies and technologies will benefit the most.”

Regulations implementing the Act are being finalized based on input generated during the 30-day public comment period that ended Aug. 15.

Companies investing in the development and deployment of qualified anti-terrorism technologies will be provided with unique protections to minimize liability should they be sued in connection with a terrorist attack or product default. According to the Department of Homeland Security, without the SAFETY Act, many companies may not invest in potential life-saving technologies.

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