|Gardere Technology Attorney Peter Vogel's Commentary Published in The E-Commerce Times |
The Cloud Privacy Illusion
|August 8, 2012 11:59 pm|
By Peter S. Vogel
A trial partner at Gardere Wynne Sewell, where he is chair of the eDiscovery Team and Chair of the Technology Industry Team. Before practicing law, he was a systems programmer on mainframes, received a masters in computer science, and taught graduate courses in information systems and operations research. His blog covers contemporary technology topics.
Laws around the world allow governments free access to data in the cloud. What may come as a surprise is that Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties facilitate cooperation across international boundaries. Under these MLATs, the U.S. and EU member states allow law enforcement authorities to request data on servers of cloud providers located in any countries that are part of the MLATs.
Privacy in the cloud may be an illusion, given the known cybersecurity risks, not to mention the laws in the U.S. and around the world that permit government agencies relatively easy access to remote data including data stored in the cloud.
Of course, businesses have relied on storing data in the cloud for more than 50 years. While many companies take great pains to protect cloud data from cyberthreats, they have no way to prevent governments from freely accessing their cloud data. Companies using the cloud may not realize that cloud data is more vulnerable than other remotely stored data, including data held in disaster recovery locations.
Security of data in the cloud should be of concern to all businesses, whether that concern is due to cybercriminals or governments.
In particular, businesses relying on the cloud should be mindful of these privacy risks of cloud data being captured by governments, foreign and domestic.
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