Cloud computing isn’t a new concept. The technology, which moves software and data off of your computer and into third-party data centers, has broken through to the mainstream. Major companies like Apple and Microsoft have launched cloud services; commercials and ads for new cloud products abound; and investment firms are pouring money into a wide variety of cloud ventures.
But for lawyers, there’s an understandable reluctance to embrace the cloud. Using it to power your law office entails placing confidential client information and work product on remote servers under the control of a third party. Does that arrangement violate lawyers’ strict obligation to maintain client confidentiality?
That question has been visited by ethics committees from a number of state bars, and while the opinions tend to agree on the broad answer — with reasonable care, the cloud is okay – they differ quite a bit on the details and the suggested steps lawyers should take to preserve confidentiality.
To help lawyers understand the risks and their ethical obligations with regard to cloud computing, the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center has assembled a comparison chart of cloud computing ethics opinions from around the United States.
The chart includes two separate breakdowns of the opinions: a quick reference highlighting key points and a more detailed summary view. Links are provided to the full original text of each opinion.
View the comparison chart: Cloud Ethics Opinions Around the U.S.