Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking to James Kunick, attorney and Principal at Much Shelist, about cloud computing. Jim has nearly two decades of experience representing a wide number of clients in various aspects of intellectual property, information technology, and corporate transactions. We thought he would be a great resource to reach out to regarding the legalities of cloud computing.
The legal implications of cloud computing have not been a popular topic thus far, and we’re not sure why. It is certainly an important topic to consider and discuss with your attorney and cloud computing provider. According to Jim, there are two major legal issues with cloud computing: loss of control over your data and applications, and the privacy and security of your data. For example, what happens if your cloud provider refuses to give you access to your data? Your contract must explicitly state that you have the right to access and retrieve your data at any time during- and after- the term of the contract. It is important to consider what happens once your contract terminates, and to lay out these details in the contract.
Moreover, while fleshing out your contract with your provider, make sure to document performance requirements and remedies for failure, put special emphasis on the privacy and security of your data, and make sure what you are signing does not get you or your data trapped. Additionally, the contract should outline who is in charge of remedying a data breach, such as who pays the (potentially expensive) costs of notifying all of your customers in order to comply with the growing number of states who have breached notification statues.
We hope this helps get you thinking about cloud computing from a legal perspective. When it comes time to sign a contract with your provider, make sure you have an attorney look it over in case any of these points are not addressed.
Special thanks to Jim for taking the time to discuss this with us. If you would like to reach out with him for legal help, you can email him at jkunick[at]muchshelist.com.
This post contains material of general interest and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances.