Legal Issues in Cloud Services

Cloud computing is a concept to provide access to a huge database of information through simple Internet browsers. The data can be accessed and software can be opened, despite their remote locations. They are no longer stored in local hard drive or other storage media on the user’s premises. Proponents of cloud storage claim multiple benefits, such as scalability, less requirements for onsite supports and overall lower costs. With proper scalability, as needs and requirements increase, the available resources and number of licenses can be adjusted easily. When cloud is accessed, it will require only Internet connection and an Internet browser. It is believed that the cloud is easier to manage and software upgrades can be performed much more easily.

Cloud-stored software is often provided based on a fee for service basis. This could provide significant cost savings, especially compared to investing on local data storage center. Instead of owning, cloud-based service is more comparable to renting data storage. Cloud computing isn’t an entirely new technology. It is made possible through affordable storage media and reliable Internet access. Cloud-stored software can be provided free or very little cost, depending on the duration of usage. As an example, people don’t need to purchase expensive photo-editing software if they use it rarely. Some companies provide cloud software with comprehensive features, such as those related customer relationships managements.

As the infrastructure becomes more mature, it’s clear that cloud computing services are here to stay. This could represent the eventual future of information technology. The use of cloud service will compete with local storage, although there’s still no sign when the cloud will catch up. Regardless of its huge benefits, there are multiple legal concerns related to cloud technology. From legal standpoints, cloud computing could represent contractual issues, which may need to be addressed by licensing agreements and contracts. There are possible regulatory issues; ranging from data export control to privacy issues. There are also potential e-discovery issues and other problems that may not have crossed our mind.

Businesses and legal professionals are becoming more experience with issues related to cloud computing. In this case, there should be a consensus how cloud computing issues should be addressed. It is important to enter a proper cloud computing arrangement and contractual obligations would be needed to protect data. There should be a proper reference to particular procedures and steps, including obligation for protecting and backing up user data. The contractual obligation should also include details regarding to uptime. In the end, it is important that users are able to obtain data with proper reliability and providers should be shielded from any kind of liability.

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