I recently attended the UK Society for Computers and Law’s Annual Conference where Cloud Computing was one of the ‘IT Law Hot Topics’ under discussion. The others, in case you are interested, were Big Data, Apps and Mobile Payments. The event was sold out which goes to show how ‘hot’ these topics really are!
One of the speakers was Christopher Millard, Professor of Privacy and Information Law at Queen Mary, University of London where he leads the Cloud Legal Project – a three-year Microsoft funded academic project undertaken by the Queen Mary Centre for Commercial Law Studies. Started in October 2009, its mission is to reduce uncertainty regarding legal and regulatory status of essential aspects of cloud computing by “the production and dissemination of a series of scholarly yet practical research papers to address various legal and regulatory issues that will be fundamental to the successful development of cloud computing… [which will] demonstrate thought leadership in several complex and difficult areas of law and regulation that are of vital importance to governments and businesses globally.”
The Cloud Legal Project website contains a rich source of content and is recommended reading for IT law practitioners whether in house or in private practice. Topics covered include an analysis of Cloud service provider’s standard legal terms; data protection issues in cloud computing; law enforcement access in a cloud environment; and the role of competition law in the cloud; as well as a report on some of the differing legal issues in cloud computing as compared with conventional outsourcing or hosting contracts.