Needless to say, due in part to our numerous writings on the legal ramifications of Cloud computing, the InfoLawGroup lawyers have been involved in much Cloud computing contract drafting and negotiating, on both the customer and service provider side. As a result, we have seen a lot in terms of negotiating tactics, difficult contract terms and parties taking a hard line on certain provisions. During the course of our work, especially on the customer side, we have seen certain "roadblocks" consistently appear which make it very difficult for organizations to analyze and understand the legal risks associated with Cloud computing, and in some instances can result in a willing customer walking away from a deal. Talking through some of these issues, InfoLawGroup thought it might be a good idea to create a very basic "Bill of Rights" to serve as the foundation of a cloud relationship, and allow for more transparency and enable a better understanding of potential legal risks associated with the cloud.
Dave and I recently spoke with BNA's Daily Report for Executives about the importance of due diligence and planning for organizations entering into (or considering) enterprise cloud computing arrangements. You can find the article, "'Cloud' Customers Facing Contracts With Huge Liability Risks, Attorneys Say," here.
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.
Dave and I recently spoke with Nymity regarding privacy and data security issues in cloud computing deals. You can read the interview here.
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.
This blogpost is the third (and final) in our series analyzing the terms of Google's and Computer Science Corporation's ("CSC") cloud contracts with the City of Los Angeles. In Part One, we looked at the information security, privacy and confidentiality obligations Google and CSC agreed to. In Part Two, the focus was on terms related to compliance with privacy and security laws, audit and enforcement of security obligations, incident response, and geographic processing limitations, and termination rights under the contracts. In Part Three, we analyze what might be the most important data security/privacy-related terms of a Cloud contract (or any contract for that matter), the risk of loss terms. This is a very long post looking at very complex and interrelated contract terms. If you have any questions feel free to email me at email@example.com
Institutions of higher learning are often breeding grounds for experimentation and creative approaches to old problems. Thus, it is far from surprising that universities have represented some of the earliest adopters of enterprise cloud computing solutions. Cloud computing is enormously attractive to universities, for a number of reasons, especially when it comes to email. My article, "The Ivory Tower in the Cloud," recently published in Information Security and Privacy News, a publication of the Information Security Committee, ABA Section of Science & Technology Law, briefly explores some of the information security and privacy legal implications for higher education moving into the cloud, and then discusses some recent developments with respect to highly publicized trials of cloud computing services by universities and colleges. You can read the full article here.
A new set of EU standard contract clauses ("SCCs" or "model contracts") for processing European personal data abroad came into effect on May 15, 2010. Taken together with a recent opinion by the official EU "Article 29" working group on the concepts of "controller" and "processor" under the EU Data Protection Directive, this development suggests that it is time to review arrangements for business process outsourcing, software as a service (SaaS), cloud computing, and even interaffiliate support services, when they involve storing or processing personal data from Europe in the United States, India, and other common outsourcing locations.
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.
It often makes sense to refer to an information security management framework or standard in an outsourcing contract, but this is usually not very meaningful unless the customer also understands what particular security measures the vendor will apply to protect the customer's data.
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.
I will be speaking on various aspects of cloud computing at two upcoming webinars in May:* Cloud Computing: Emerging E-Discovery Trends, Strafford webinar, May 4, 2010 (1:00 pm Eastern) * Negotiating and Preparing Cloud Contracts, IAPP web conference, May 13, 2010 (1:00 pm Eastern)
As some of you know, I tweeted my notes from the IAPP Global Privacy Summit 2010 yesterday and today (@Forsheit for those of you on Twitter). Since many of our readers are not on Twitter, I thought I would provide you with those notes here (minus the usual Twitter hashtags and abbreviations). Please note that there were multiple sessions, and this reflects only those I was able to attend, and only the information I could quickly record, putting virtual pen to paper. These are not direct quotes, unless specifically designated as such. Overall, I think it was a great conference, a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with other lawyers and privacy professionals, and to meet students, lawyers, and others looking to learn more about this constantly evolving legal and compliance space. For me, the conference highlight was Viktor Mayer-Schonberger's keynote this morning on The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age. Without further ado, here are my notes. Would love to hear your thoughts/reactions.
This week, I will be providing short updates from the IAPP Global Privacy Summit in Washington, DC. The conference will be in full swing tomorrow, and I will report on various panels and topics of interest. In the meantime, as I prepare to see old and new friends at the Welcome Reception this evening, a few thoughts on what I expect to see and hear a lot over the next few days.
What does workplace privacy have to do with the cloud? Everything. On Tuesday, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued its opinion in Stengart v. LovingCare Agency, Inc., --- A.2d ----, 2010 WL 1189458 (N.J. March 30, 2010), and came out on the side of protecting employee privacy and the attorney-client privilege in personal Yahoo! webmail (a cloud service) even though the employee used a company computer. While everyone has been busy writing about the implications of LovingCare for company policies governing employee expectations of privacy (and for good reason), few have stopped to note that LovingCare is a cloud case. LovingCare is one of only a few published opinions addressing the difficult issues surrounding employee use of webmail and other cloud services on company computers where the attorney-client privilege is at stake, and the impact of the LovingCare decision will undoubtedly be felt for years to come by nearly every employer across the country, both in crafting policies for employee use of company computer systems and in conducting discovery in nearly every employment-related litigation. The machine may be the employer's, but, in the post-LovingCare world, the data may be the employee's - at least where the cloud and the attorney-client privilege are involved. You can read my detailed case analysis in this post.
As many of our readers know, the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) will celebrate 10 years this Tuesday, March 16. In connection with that anniversary, the IAPP is releasing a whitepaper, "A Call For Agility: The Next-Generation Privacy Professional," tomorrow, March 15. I am honored that the IAPP has given me the opportunity to read and blog about the whitepaper in advance of its official release.
As the partners of InfoLawGroup make our way through the sensory overload of the RSA Conference this week, I am reminded (and feel guilty) that it has been a while since I posted here. I have good excuses - have simply been too busy with work - but after spending several days in the thought-provoking environment that is RSA, I had to break down and write something. A few observations, from a lawyer's perspective, based on some pervasive themes.