The European Commission recently held a public consultation on cloud computing in Europe. Between 16 May 2011 and 31 August 2011, there were 538 responses.
In precis, the general opinions were:
- rights and responsibilities are unclear
- liability is unclear in cross-border situations
- half the companies who responded and only one-third of individuals claimed to be relatively clear about which jurisdiction applied
- around 83% would find guidelines and checklists useful
- opinions were divided on whether updates to the EU Data Protection Directive would
- facilitate cloud computing while preserving privacy
- the need for future research to improve current cloud computing commercial offerings was
- broadly accepted
In conclusion, the implementation of cloud computing is confused by the EU legal framework and clarification is required on rights, responsibilities, data protection and liability, especially in cross-border situations. Further, the EU legal framework needs to be defined in conjunction with international agreements on principles such as certification, data protection and security.