26.06.2015

Final report: Comparative study on cloud computing contracts

Comparative study on cloud computing contracts - Final report  (pdf; prepared for the European Commission by DLA Piper UK LLP)
The present comparative law Study, encompassing the European Member States (excluding Croatia) and the U.S., has been conducted by the international law firm DLA Piper UK LLP. The Study has been coordinated by a multinational Core Team, with representatives from countries pertaining to the various legal traditions across Europe. [...]
This study provides an overview over legislation, case law and administrative guidelines applicable to cloud computing contracts. It explains how the existing specific and/or general legal principles apply to certain key contractual issues. The study is carried out in three work packages. The first work package provides a general overview over relevant legislation, case law and administrative guidelines in relation to cloud computing contracts in 27 EU Member States and the U.S. level. Under work package 2, eight countries out of this group were selected to be further analysed during work package 3. During this last phase, several key legal issues are subjected to an in-depth analysis. This input is further subjected to a comparative law assessment as a result of which several conclusions are presented in relation to the suitability of the current legal framework of the selected countries for cloud computing contracts. [...]
[...] Cloud computing is frequently based on a lack of any stable location of the data within the cloud provider’s network. The cloud client may therefore not be in a position to be able to know where the data is located, stored or transferred. The location of the data determines, however, under many cloud computing contracts, the law applicable to the contract. Article 25 of the Privacy Directive provides that the transfer of personal data to a third country may take place only if the third country in question ensures an "adequate level of protection". Several legal issues are further investigated in this respect. [...]