During the summer Kindle owners who had purchased George Orwell's book, 1984, received a truly Orwellian surprise - the book was removed from their Kindle without any real notice. Here's a great post by David Pogue explaining what happened. Still, this raised an interesting question: does Amazon have the legal right to do this?
Here's another issue for all of you who are using OpenOffice for word processing: what are your privacy rights and who owns/controls your stuff, anyway? And did you realize that OpenOffice was a Cloud platform?
David Navetta is publishing a series on the Legal Implications of Cloud Computing on LLRX. Here's the link to Part I. Navetta is the Vice-Chair of the ABA's Information Security Committee, and is also Co-Chair of the PCI Legal Risk and Liability Working Group. He probably knows what he's talking about.
There are many interesting legal problems associated with using the Cloud. Consider discovery. If we are conducting discovery at present we can search for emails and documents on a party's computer. But if that party has its documents on the Cloud who owns them? Will that party be able to retrieve them? Will the other party be able to make an effective Request for Production? What are the duties and obligations of the owner of the Cloud platform?
And, what is a document or business record, anyway? As Navetta says:
...considering that multiple copies of data may be created, stored, recompiled, dispersed, reassembled and reused, the idea of what constitutes a "record" or a "document" for evidentiary purposes may be difficult to grapple with in the cloud.
Stay tuned for further links as the series develops. Or, set up an RSS feed from LLRX for yourself.