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Welcome to our August 2015 Newsletter! Please take the time to read the article and contact us should you have any questions or concerns.

 

Law Offices of Salar Atrizadeh

An Overview of Cloud Computing

At this time, cloud computing possesses the necessary components to revolutionize technology with immense benefits in line with the increasing demand for computing power. With cloud computing service providers (CCSPs), which meet this demand with their products and services, users are now able to store their information on virtual servers. As cloud computing has expanded globally, so have the risks involved with the storage of personal information. With security and privacy at risk, the global aspect of cloud computing has become an important issue. What are the risks of not having standardized international regulations? What will be the implications for user privacy and security on an international scale?

When it comes to privacy, steps have been taken to protect users from loss of data. For example, CCSPs have general standards for privacy protection, but the lack of standardization makes them a dangerous force. Now, privacy risks have required government intervention. In the United States, the Congressional Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and Internet is the head of regulatory measures surrounding internet and technology. The policy goals for cloud specific laws in the United States are still unpredictable, as regulations originate from outdated principles. The European Union has created a Cloud Computing Strategy and has taken steps to organize a cloud computing subcommittee. Its aim is to create standardized laws within the European Union.

Similarly, security issues lack cohesion in the methods they are dealt with globally. Industry standards for CCSPs’ terms and conditions (i.e., Acceptable Use Policy, Privacy Policy) do not ensure security. Users are left unprotected when they agree to unfamiliar service contracts. Also, cooperation from major CCSPs has been scarce, as many refuse to comply with fine-tuning industry standards and negotiating stricter contracts. Without a uniform set of security laws, both users and CCSPs are at risk. If a user’s data is exposed, the CCSP could face liability, as well as, increased contract prices and instability when it comes to investments and competition. As such, standardized international regulations, as well as, clarification of rights, liabilities, and security are essential.

Furthermore, international law is a component when it comes to cloud computing. So, concerns exist regarding the ability that nations have to extend their jurisdiction to other states or territories. Because cloud computing and data protection fall under a combination of private and public law, it is difficult to determine under which provisions data must be protected. CCSP’s power against governments is also dictated by the private or public classification of data protection. In fact, section 403 of the Restatement of Foreign Relations Law indicates that a a state may not exercise jurisdiction to prescribe law with respect to a person or activity having connections with another state when the exercise of jurisdiction is unreasonable. However, extraterritorial jurisdiction could provide an exception for the existing standards.

If international coordination occurs in the future to bring a uniform regulatory organization, data protection could extend itself on a global scale. This way, an international body would supervise the actions of CCSPs and implement global standards. The rise of technology and cloud computing could coincide with user privacy and security in order to present the cloud as a safe utility.

For more information about your legal rights while using cloud computing, you should consult with an attorney. At our law firm, we assist clients in online privacy and cloud computing related matters.

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