Tornata al primo giudice la questione californiana sulla pericolosità di Speedfilter di Snapchat, la risposta è positiva

Continuano le decisioni sulla pericolosità dell’applicazione  <Speedfilter> di Snapchat: v. ad es. mio post sulla decisione di appello californiana 04.05. 2021. che aveva negato il safe harbour trattandosi di causa di negligennce.

Tornata la causa al primo giudice, viene decisa con sentenza 31.03.2022,  n° CV 19-4504-MWF (KSx) , Carly Lemon c. Snap inc.

Per la corte c’è negligenza nel design dell’applicaizione perchè induce a correre troppo in auto:  soprattutto solleticando la psiche degli utenti laddove propone trofei/premi non meglio identificati che vengono manifestati solo dopo l’evemtuale vincita:

<<The FAC alleges that the design of the Snapchat app rewards users by awarding  trophies for using the Snapchat app in particular ways that are unknown to the users until they actually obtain such trophies. (FAC ¶ 27). The FAC also alleges that the Speed Filter allows users to record the speed at which they are traveling and display  that speed over a photo or video of themselves that they can share on social media. (Id. ¶ 25). Finally, the FAC alleges that Plaintiffs used the Speed Filter within minutes of  the accident. (Id. ¶ 70).
The Court is satisfied that these three allegations, accepted as true, are sufficient
to allege causation premised on the theory that the Speed Filter’s design encouraged . Plaintiffs to drive at dangerous speeds.

If Snapchat users are seeking to obtain an unknown trophy associated with using the Speed Filter, it is plausible that they would seek this trophy by increasing their speed — the only metric recorded by the Speed Filter.
Even if there were no reward system whatsoever, the basic design of the Speed
Filter itself appears to encourage reckless driving. There is realistically no purpose for the Speed Filter other than to encourage users to travel at high speeds and record themselves doing so. Defendant’s argument that users will use the Speed Filter “safely while walking, jogging, or riding a train, boat, or Ferris wheel” (Motion at 3) is highly  implausible – let’s say it’s the arguments not the allegations that run afoul of the  Twombly and Iqbal argument. It is common sense that adding a speed-sharing feature to a social media application used predominantly by minors and young adults would  encourage such users to record themselves while driving at high speed>>

Inoltre, <<with respect to the second point, the Court disagrees with the superior court’s
approach because it focused on whether the Speed Filter contained an express
incentive to speed and ignored the incentives inherent in the Speed Filter’s design.
The superior court apparently was persuaded that, without an express incentive to drive
recklessly, individuals would use the Speed Filter safely as a passenger on a ferry,
train, or airplane. In doing so, the Maynard court essentially treated Snap as a
publisher or speaker, rather than a product manufacturer — the exact approach that the
Ninth Circuit has warned against here. (Ninth Circuit Opinion at 10–12 (“the Parents’
amended complaint does not seek to hold Snap liable for its conduct as a publisher or
speaker”). Indeed, the Maynard court treated the plaintiffs’ claim as a negligent
advertising claim rather than a negligent design claim, relying explicitly on Ely v.
General Motors Corp., which held that an auto manufacturer was not liable for
encouraging reckless driving by advertising that a car could go up to 150 miles per
hour. 927 S.W. 2d 774, 782 (Tx.Ct.App. 1996).>>

Nè la pericolosità viene meno per la possibilità di molteplici diversi usi.

Inoltre è ravvisata la causalità tra il difetto progettuale e il fatto dannoso verificatosi: <<The causal connection between the Speed Filter and the speeding accident is strong given that the accident occurred while the Plaintiffs were using the Speed Filter for the exact purpose for which it appears to have been designed: to record the user traveling at excessive speeds>>

(notizia e link alla sentenza dal blog del prof. Eric Goldman)