The European Parliament Has Passed Legislation Requiring Smart Contracts to Include a Kill Switch

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Last Updated on March 15, 2023 by Bitfinsider

On Tuesday, the European Parliament voted in support of new data controls that could require smart contracts to include information about a kill button to restart activity.

The Data Act, a 2022 European Union law, included provisions meant to give people more control over information from smart devices, but it has raised concerns in the Web3 community.

On Tuesday, 500 EU lawmakers voted in support of the measure, 23 opposed it, and 110 did not vote.

“The new regulations will enable consumers and businesses by giving them a say in what can be done with the data produced by linked goods,” said bill sponsor Pilar del Castillo Vera during the bill’s discussion.
Del Castillo includes provisions According to Vera’s redrafted law, smart contracts must have access controls and safeguard trade secrets. They would also need halt and reset features, which experts fear could undermine their purpose.

The measure is not universally supported.

“Article 30, as presently written, goes too far in addressing the problems presented by immutability,” tweeted Thibault Schrepel, an associate researcher at VU Amsterdam University, prior of the vote. “It puts smart contracts in jeopardy to a degree that no one can foresee.”

Schrepel, a blockchain legal expert, thinks that the legal text is ambiguous about who would have to press the kill button on a smart contract in reality, and that it violates the basic principle that automatic programs cannot be changed by anyone.

The decision authorizes del Castillo Vera and other lawmakers to discuss a final version of the legislation with governments in EU member nations.

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