Cloud agreements are at least as financially risky as any other major agreement a cloud customer may sign. However, most businesses just agree to the cloud provider’s online click agreement, assuming it is totally a take-it-or-leave-it deal. That approach does not work for many companies — especially those that must be sensitive to compliance with various laws across international borders.
With the ever-increasing use of the cloud by more and more businesses, there is good reason to be concerned about legal risks, which are an inherent part of the cloud. The term “cloud” may be relatively new, but the concept of remote computing started more than 60 years ago, when Dartmouth University first launched “time-sharing,” as I wrote in a 2011 E-Commerce Times column, entitled “Cloud Computing – New Buzzword, Old Legal Issues.”
The remote computing risks have not abated. In fact, the risks have increased with the Internet, as cloud systems are found in countries around the globe. With a variety of laws covering privacy and data protection, it is not always clear what happens if someone penetrates your cloud and takes your data or credit cards.