16 Sep 2016

DIGITALEUROPE's response to Commission consultation on the safety of apps and other non-embedded software

DIGITALEUROPE's response to Commission consultation on the safety of apps and other non-embedded software

INTRODUCTION

This consultation concerns software and applications (apps) which are neither embedded, nor contained in a tangible medium at the time of their placement in the market, their supply to consumers or when they are otherwise made available to consumers (non-embedded software). Examples include health and well-being apps that can be used on a mobile device, digital models for 3D printing or apps controlling other devices (such as electronic appliances).

The purpose of the consultation is to gather input from various stakeholder groups, in particular consumers, businesses and authorities, on their experience related to the safety of apps and other non-embedded software. The questions aim at obtaining a better understanding of the possible risks and problems that non-embedded software may pose and how these problems could be dealt with. The views gathered will help to define potential next steps and future policies at the EU level including, if appropriate, possible revisions of existing horizontal and/or sector-specific EU legislation.

If apps are giving access to a service, this consultation addresses only the safety aspects in the functioning of the app, and not the underlying service itself (e.g. transport or accommodation). For the purpose of this consultation, only apps and non-embedded software that are downloadable on a device such as a personal computer, tablet or smartphone or accessible on a remote location (cloud) would be covered.

For the purpose of this consultation “safety” and “safe use” should be understood as freedom from unacceptable danger, risk or harm, including security-vulnerabilities (“cyber-security”) and cover physical, economic as well as non-material damage.

This consultation will only look into the safety of apps and other non-embedded software which is not already addressed and foreseen by sector-specific legislation such as the Medical Devices Directives, the Machinery Directive or the Radio Equipment Directive which include provisions on safety ensuring that equipment within their scope, if compliant, is safe.

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