Cloud Computing Legal Issues to Consider

cloud computing legalityCloud computing has become all of the rage as of late, for individuals and businesses alike. Cloud computing provides users with a number of benefits including the ability to access their information from anywhere with an internet connection, easy transfer of files, the ability to quickly and easily deploy projects and an unlimited scalability that can grow along with storage and application growth. However, the industry has grown faster than the average users’ knowledge of the technology, which has left many ignorant to the possible legal ramifications that they could incur as a result. Although cloud computing might be convenient, or even more desirable for some businesses, you need to take a few legal issues into account.

Data Storage

When you use a cloud computing service, your data is often stored at an undisclosed location. Some companies choose to divulge this information, but that in itself can be a security risk that some companies avoid publicly stating. You should know that your data can potentially be stored anywhere in the world when you use cloud computing, which means that an area could utilize a completely different set of privacy and security laws of which you are not aware of. If a conflict arises between you and the storage company, are you going to be able to pursue legal action? Finding out where your data is physically stored is a hugely important task before choosing a cloud computing provider.

Data Liability and Guarantees

Any data center can run into hardware failure for a variety of different reasons. From natural disasters, to hardware meltdowns to outright negligence, there needs to be liability assurances and guarantees in place regarding your business data. Is there a backup system in place to ensure that if your particular server runs into issues that you will be covered and will be able to recover your data?

You also have to ensure that if there is a breach of security, and your files are involved, that the storage company agrees to take the liability for that security breach. After all, if your data center is breached, and your customer data is taken by the saboteurs, you do not want to be held liable for how that information is used. Cloud vendors do their best to ward off these types of threats, but no security is going to be without flaws. There is always someone who designs the system, and there are always hackers out there with more knowledge who could potentially break into a system.

Property Rights

Make sure that any of the data that you are storing on a cloud server is protected intellectual property. That way, if there is a breach in the security of the service, you know that your data is going to be safe under law, and cannot be used or sold to a competitor. Try not to store anything of great importance anywhere than on your own devices. The more control you have over your information and data, the better off you will be in terms of security. Also check to make sure that no third party organizations are going to receive access to your stored data, such as third party tech companies and IT teams that are not directly working for the company that is storing your data on their cloud servers.

Cloud computing has quickly risen to prominence over the course of the last few years, leaving the knowledge of legalities behind in its wake. It’s important that both individuals and business owners have a solid understanding of the legal ramifications of data loss and unsecured business data before making the switch to cloud computing.

Author Bio: Izzy Mackey works for a company that provides competitive rates.

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