Posts in Cloud Computing Series

20/20, ABA, client confidentiality, COPRAC, encrypt, encryption, ethics, Formal Opinion Interim No- 08-0002, lawyers, New York State Bar Association, online storage, Opinion 842, professional responsibility, State Bar of California, technology, wifi

Legal Implications of Cloud Computing -- Part Five (Ethics or Why All Lawyers-Not Just Technogeek Lawyers Like Me-Should Care About Data Security)

By InfoLawGroup LLP on October 19, 2010

So, you thought our cloud series was over? Wishful thinking. It is time to talk about ethics. Yes, ethics. Historically, lawyers and technologists lived in different worlds. The lawyers were over here, and IT was over there. Here's the reality: Technology - whether we are talking cloud computing, ediscovery or data security generally - IS very much the business of lawyers. This post focuses on three recent documents, ranging from formal opinions to draft issue papers, issued by three very prominent Bar associations -- the American Bar Association (ABA), the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), and the State Bar of California (CA Bar). These opinions and papers all drive home the following points: as succinctly stated by the ABA, "[l]awyers must take reasonable precautions to ensure that their clients' confidential information remains secure"; AND lawyers must keep themselves educated on changes in technology and in the law relating to technology. The question, as always, is what is "reasonable"? Also, what role should Bar associations play in providing guidelines/best practices and/or mandating compliance with particular data security rules? Technology, and lawyer use of technology, is evolving at a pace that no Bar association can hope to meet. At the end of the day, do the realities of the modern business world render moot any effort by the Bar(s) to provide guidance or impose restrictions? Read on and tell us - and the ABA - what you think.

Cloud, cloud computing, EU, EU Data Protection Directive, EU Directive, European Union, Germany, international data transfers, Safe Harbor, transborder data flows

European Reservations?

By W. Scott Blackmer on August 25, 2010

German state data protection authorities have recently criticized both cloud computing and the EU-US Safe Harbor Framework. From some of the reactions, you would think that both are in imminent danger of a European crackdown. That's not likely, but the comments reflect some concerns with recent trends in outsourcing and transborder data flows that multinationals would be well advised to address in their planning and operations.

Cloud, ediscovery, electronic, inaccessible, inspection, subpoena

Legal Implications of Cloud Computing -- Part 4.5 (Extending the Discussion of E-Discovery in the Cloud)

By InfoLawGroup LLP on July 01, 2010

My colleagues Dave Navetta, Tanya Forsheit and Scott Blackmer have framed a definition and outlined the essential legal implications of cloud computing. Tanya has started a discussion of the application of electronic discovery and electronic evidence issues in the cloud. This post extends Tanya's discussion of the intersection between electronic discovery and the cloud.

bankruptcy, Fourth Amendment, intermingled, intermingling, reasonable expectation of privacy, segregate, segregation, SK Foods

What a Farming Bankruptcy Can Teach Us About Privacy in the Cloud

By InfoLawGroup LLP on June 02, 2010

Does "segregation" of records from another organization's records in a cloud that prevents "intermingling" preserve an organization's reasonable expectation of privacy vis-a-vis the government under the Fourth Amendment? One recent case, although not about a cloud of any shape or form, suggests that it might. In In re SK Foods Inc., No. 2:09-cv-02938, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California stayed the Bankruptcy Court's order that would have allowed the Trustee to continue to possess and review information relating to third party non-debtors pending appeal. Why? There was evidence suggesting that, despite residing on shared computer servers, the data of the third parties had not been "intermingled" with the debtor's data, the servers belonged to a third party, the debtor could not access the third party records without authorization, and the third parties demanded return of their records once the Trustee intervened. Read on for a detailed review of the District Court's order and consideration of its implications for the cloud.

compliance, contracting, contracts, privacy, risk management, Security

Contracting for Cloud Computing Services

By InfoLawGroup LLP on May 18, 2010

Nearly every day, businesses are entering into arrangements to save the enterprise what appear tobe significant sums on information technology infrastructure by placing corporate data ''in the cloud.'' Win-win, right? Not so fast. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Many of these deals are negotiated quickly, or not negotiated at all, due to the perceived cost savings. Indeed, many are closed not in a conference room with signature blocks, ceremony, and champagne, but in a basement office with the click of a mouse. Unfortunately, with that single click, organizations may be putting the security of their sensitive data (personal information, trade secrets, intellectual property, and more) at risk, and may be overlooking critical compliance requirements of privacy and data security law (not to mention additional regulations). My article "Contracting for Cloud Computing Services: Privacy and Data Security Considerations," published this week in BNA's Privacy & Security Law Report, explores a number of contractual provisions that organizations should consider in purchasing cloud services. You can read the full article here, reprinted with the permission of BNA.

Cloud, compliance, contracting, IaaS, PaaS, privacy, SaaS, Security

Legal Implications of Cloud Computing -- Part Three (Relationships in the Cloud)

By InfoLawGroup LLP on October 21, 2009

While there is much debate on the IT side as to whether Cloud computing is revolutionary, evolutionary or "more of the same" with a snazzy marketing label, in the legal context, Cloud computing does have a potential significant impact on legal risk. Part three of our ongoing Cloud legal series explores the relationships in the Cloud, and the potential legal implications and impacts suggested by them.

Binding Corporate Rules, breach notification, EU Data Protection Directive, Gramm-Leach-Bliley, HIPAA, model contracts, privacy, Safe Harbor

Legal Implications of Cloud Computing -- Part Two (Privacy and the Cloud)

By InfoLawGroup LLP on September 30, 2009

Last month we posted some basics on cloud computing designed to provide some context and identify the legal issues. What is the cloud? Why is everyone in the tech community talking about it? Why do we as lawyers even care? Dave provided a few things for our readers to think about -- privacy, security, e-discovery. Now let's dig a little deeper. I am going to start with privacy and cross-border data transfers. Is there privacy in the cloud? What are the privacy laws to keep in mind? What are an organization's compliance obligations? As with so many issues in the privacy space, the answer begins with one key principle -- location, location, location.

Breach, contracting, e-Discovery, Electronic evidence, EU Directive, IaaS, outsourcing, PaaS, privacy, SaaS, Security, service provider

Legal Implications of Cloud Computing -- Part One (the Basics and Framing the Issues)

By InfoLawGroup LLP on August 16, 2009

I had the pleasure of hearing an excellent presentation by Tanya Forsheit on the legal issues arising out of cloud computing during the ABA Information Security Committee's recent meeting (at the end of July) in Chicago. The presentation resulted in a spirited debate between several attorneys in the crowd. The conversation spilled over into happy hour and became even more interesting. The end result: my previous misunderstanding of cloud computing as "just outsourcing" was corrected, and now I have a better appreciation of what "the cloud" is and the legal issues cloud computing raises.