Something’s Got To Give - Cloud Computing, As Applied To Lawyers - Comparative Approach US And EU And Practical Proposals To Overcome Differences

Authors: Nathan M. Crystal, Francesca Giannoni-Crystal


What is cloud computing? What are the advantages, disadvantages, and risks, both legal and ethical in using cloud computing services? What have US ethics advisory committees said about the ethical propriety of using cloud computing services? What are the elements of an ethical checklist for review of cloud computing services? What is the relationship between data privacy and cloud computing in the European Union? What differences and similarities can be found in the American and European approaches to cloud computing? Is it possible for an international law firm, with offices in both the EU and the US, to adopt a unified approach to review of cloud computing services that combines the American and European views? This article addresses these questions and others.

The article is divided into four parts. Part I describes what is meant by cloud computing and analyzes the benefits and risks, both ethical and legal from use of cloud services. Part II discusses the approach of US jurisdictions to cloud computing and offers a checklist that summarizes the requirements that result from these opinions. Part III compares the US and European approaches to cloud computing. Part IV offers a practical approach to reconciling US and European approaches.

Keywords: cloud computing - data privacy - international data privacy - Directive 95/46 - International Law Firm - Professional Secrecy - Attorney-Client Privilege - Privacy Law - European Privacy - CCBE Guidelines on Cloud - Opinion 05/2012 - Article 29 Working Party