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Litigation danger: Cloud loss of control

Adam Losey | May 27, 2011
Loss of control by using cloud services can lead to big problems when a business finds itself in litigation.

What can be a laborious and difficult process when done in-house might be accomplished by a cloud service provider in a few minutes. It all depends on the provider, and on how the information is managed in the first place.

The same analysis holds true for other issues regarding privacy and data security -- if a cloud service provider mishandles a business's information, the business will still be on the chopping block for the consequences. But the cloud service provider might do a better job then the business would if it took the function in-house.

Litigation in the SLA 

Any business considering cloud-based computing options should take a long and hard look at the potential service provider before going to the cloud -- and any contractual agreement with a provider should be chock full of specific details regarding the specifics of information management on the cloud, the provider's security measures, litigation hold procedures, and quality control issues (like guaranteed uptime).

Finally, whether in or out of the cloud, businesses should take the time to commit resources to managing information well -- and thus avoid the legion of consequences associated with poor information management practices.

Adam Losey is an attorney at US law firm Foley & Lardner with its Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution and Appellate Practices and an adjunct professor at Columbia University (, where he teaches electronic discovery as part of the school's Information and Digital Resource Management Master's Program. He can be contacted at



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