A summary of the main legal issues is covered in the section on risks of cloud computing. This page references some of the main sources of up to date information on this evolving topic.
Jisc Legal has produced a cloud computing toolkit which offers a range of guidance including a series of user guides from a range of different stakeholder perspectives:
- IT professionals
- Senior management and policy makers and
Queen Mary University of London (QMUL)
QMUL has a Cloud Legal project running for three years from October 2009. The project is funded by Microsoft but is academically independent of the corporation. The project is aimed at offering thought leadership therefore it takes a stance on resolving certain areas of uncertainty.
In particular, it recommends radical change to current EU data protection legislation abolishing the current divide between data processor and controller in favour of a continuum of roles. It also suggests a new role of ‘host’ or ‘conduit’ applicable to some cloud providers who do not process personal data in any meaningful sense (Hon et al 2011).
The project website offers some very comprehensive but readable papers on the following topics:
- Cloud contracts
- Data ownership
- Data protection
- Competition law
- Law enforcement.
Finally, for anyone interested in the legal issues, Mowbray (2009) has produced a very readable and entertaining overview entitled 'The Fog over the Grimpen Mire: Cloud Computing and the Law' which compares the cloud to the fog which hampers Sherlock Holmes’ attempts to solve the case of the Hound of the Baskervilles.
"So as the fog-bank flowed onward we fell back before it until we were half a mile from the house, and still that dense white sea, with the moon silvering its upper edge, swept slowly and inexorably on. “We are going too far,” said Holmes."
Conan-Doyle, A. (1902) The Hound of the Baskervilles