In July, the European Union (EU) Article 29 Data Protection Working Party published guidance on the use of cloud computing throughout the EU.
The guideline, "Opinion 05/2012 on Cloud Computing," acknowledges the benefits of cloud computing, including its economical and societal benefits, as well as the protection risks it triggers when deployed on a wide scale. Some of the key concerns raised by the working group include:
* Lack of transparency of an outsourcing chain consisting of multiple players
* Unavailability of a common global data portability framework
* Lack of transparency in terms of the information that can be provided to data subjects about how their personal data is processed
First and foremost, the working group advised in a July 1 press release, organizations that plan to use cloud computing should conduct a comprehensive and thorough risk analysis.
"All cloud providers offering services in the EEA [European Economic Area] should provide the cloud client with all the information necessary to rightly assess the pros and cons of adopting such a service," the release stated. "Security, transparency and legal certainty for the clients should be key drivers behind the offer of cloud computing services."
The guidance also addresses...