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Test Your Knowledge on Drones, Vaping, Social Engineering, and 3D Printing

By Lucian McMahon  |  March 7, 2016

emerging issues ecigsIn February 2016, the ISO Emerging Issues team challenged more than 200 property/casualty insurance professionals with a quiz to test their knowledge of some emerging issues. While the quiz has officially closed, check out some of the questions on drones, vaping, social engineering, and 3D printing and a discussion of each below. How would you have done?

1. Drones: Several highly publicized near misses and crashes have prompted calls for greater safety measures for recreational drones. What sport federation recently banned the use of drones at its events because of safety concerns?

The correct answer is: International Ski Federation.

Didn’t get it right? That’s okay! About half of quiz-takers had trouble with this one. In December 2015, the International Ski Federation reportedly banned drones from its World Cup races after a drone crashed and nearly struck a professional skier during a slalom run. The drone, mounted with a camera, had apparently been prohibited from flying over the course when it crashed behind the skier. Reports of an initial investigation on the part of the company responsible for the drone suggested that the drone malfunctioned.

For more information on drone safety concerns, check out the Drones topic page in the Emerging Issues Portal.

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2. Vaping: In January 2015, the FAA recommended airlines prohibit e-cigarettes in checked baggage for what reason?

The correct answer is: Their lithium batteries could ignite or explode.

Following reported incidents of vapes (“e-cigarettes”) overheating or igniting in airline passenger baggage, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) recommended that airlines prohibit the devices from checked baggage. The Department of Transportation went even further, not only banning the devices from checked luggage but also prohibiting passengers from charging the devices during flight.

To learn more about vaping and e-cigarettes, check out the E-Cigarettes/Vaping topic page in the Emerging Issues Portal.

3. Social Engineering: All the following are social engineering techniques except:

a) Spear Phishing
b) Pretexting
c) Quid Pro Quo
d) E-Dipping

The correct answer is: E-Dipping.

While it sounds like it could be a social engineering technique, “e-dipping” is not. In general, Social engineering is a type of fraud that seeks to manipulate employees into disclosing sensitive information or transferring funds, often through social media or e-mail. “Spear phishing” involves sending an electronic communication to obtain personal or corporate information. “Pretexting” is similar to phishing and involves adopting a persona—either fake or assumed—to trick a person into handing over personal or corporate information or, in many cases, to act on behalf of the impersonator. “Quid pro quo” is exactly what it sounds like: it involves a hacker offering a service, which tends to make the victim more amenable to suggestion.

For examples of each of these techniques, please refer to the Emerging Issues Portal.

4. 3D Printing: In May 2014, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited a 3D printing company for violating workplace safety standards after what event?

3d printing imageThe correct answer is: Some combustible 3D printing alloys exploded and burned an employee.

Another tough one! Most respondents had difficulty with this one. Many thought the citation was either for dangerous nanoparticles emitted from a 3D printer or for the toxicity of 3D-printed parts.

Studies have found evidence of ultrafine particle (UFP) emissions from desktop 3D printers used in small office environments. Another study found evidence of measurable toxicity of some 3D-printed parts. OSHA, though, cited a 3D printing company after the agency uncovered ten workplace safety violations following an explosion and fire in 2013. OSHA noted that the company failed to protect its employees from the hazards of reactive and combustible metal powders used during the 3D printing process.

For more information on health and safety risks as well as other concerns related to 3D printing, check out the 3D Printing topic page in the Emerging Issues Portal.

If you didn’t know the answers to the questions above, don’t worry. The ISO Emerging Issues team is here to help keep insurance professionals informed on issues that could prove critically important to their lines of business—and what solutions ISO may be developing to help address them. The team manages the Emerging Issues Portal, available to all ISOnet® subscribers, offering curated research on more than 40 emerging issues.

ISO also discusses emerging issues with customers through its Emerging Issues Panel meetings, held by teleconference several times a year.

If you’d like to learn more about the portal, the panel, or future quizzes, or have any questions about ISO’s Emerging Issues team, please contact me at or 201-469-2958.