While the majority of lawyers that refuse to use the cloud cite security and ethical concerns, there are many third parties that lawyers already share confidential client information with. Some of these include court employees, document processing companies, process servers, legal document delivery services, building cleaning crews and seasonal interns. Yet suddenly these lawyers are worried about cloud services that have spent enormous amounts of money and research to ensure that their security measures are top-notch.
While security has not been required in these instances, ethics committees have arrived at the conclusion that due diligence requires that lawyers seeking to use web-based legal management software must take reasonable steps to ensure that confidential client data remains safe and secure.
"It bears repeating that a lawyer’s duty is to take reasonable steps to protect confidential client information, not to become an expert in information technology. When it comes to the use of cloud computing, the Rules of Professional Conduct do not impose a strict liability standard. As one ethics committee observed, “Such a guarantee is impossible, and a lawyer can no more guarantee against unauthorized access to electronic information than he can guarantee that a burglar will not break into his file room, or that someone will not illegally intercept his mail or steal a fax.”
What the committee is saying is that it is impossible to guarantee absolute security and that every time you allow data to be handled by a third-party, there is a risk. So this applies to any third-party cloud services, as well as any other third-party companies, court employees, etc.
- Data and Cloud Computing: Are You Protected? (fitcom.co)
- Cloud computing: Businesses still don't know what they're getting into (stellartechnews.wordpress.com)
- Cloud computing: Businesses still don't know what they're getting into (zdnet.com)
- Cloud Security Is Still Top Issue For Companies (cloudhq.net)
- Florida Bar Issues Ethics Opinion On Cloud Computing (futurelawyer.typepad.com)
- Florida Bar Considers Cloud Ethics Opinion (futurelawyer.typepad.com)
- MEP calls for a raft of rules to protect EU users' data in the cloud (computerweekly.com)
- Why You Need To Back Up Your Gmail Account (cloudhq.net)
- 10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Cloud Provider (news.terra.com)
- Enterprises Starting to Trust Cloud for More Sensitive Apps (cio.com)