Privacy in the Clouds: An Empirical Study of the Terms of Service and Privacy Policies of 20 Cloud Service Providers

71 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2015

See all articles by Dimitra Kamarinou

Dimitra Kamarinou

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law - Centre for Commercial Law Studies

Christopher Millard

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law - Centre for Commercial Law Studies; Oxford Internet Institute

W. Kuan Hon

Imperial College London

Date Written: August 18, 2015

Abstract

This paper is an empirical study of the Terms of Service and Privacy Policies of 20 cloud providers. Our study focuses on the ways these 20 cloud providers treat various key rights that individuals have under data protection law, either when they contract directly with a cloud provider or when they access cloud services through a business or institution, such as their employer, including the right to have their personal data processed fairly and lawfully, the right to be informed about the collection of data, the specific purposes of processing and the way their data may be shared with or disclosed to third parties, including law enforcement agencies. We also look at the right to access, correct or erase personal data, the right to object to processing, the right to object to direct marketing, and the right to have personal data processed securely and be protected from accidental or unlawful destruction or accidental loss, alteration, unauthorized disclosure or access to data. In addition, this paper discusses the providers’ approach to disputes arising out of the use of their cloud service and their approach to compensation and indemnification. This paper also uncovers common approaches adopted by providers and mismatches between their various legal documents, and highlights the advantages and disadvantages of various practices found in the study. Finally, we make some suggestions for more effective transparency and redress options for individuals, and conclude the paper with a number of practical findings arising from the review.

Keywords: Cloud Computing, Terms of Service, ToS, Privacy Policy, Contracts, Cloud Contracts, Personal Data, Data Privacy, Data Protection, Data Subject, Rights, European Union, Localisation, Jurisdiction, Liability

Suggested Citation

Kamarinou, Dimitra and Millard, Christopher and Hon, W. Kuan, Privacy in the Clouds: An Empirical Study of the Terms of Service and Privacy Policies of 20 Cloud Service Providers (August 18, 2015). Queen Mary School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 209/2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2646447

Dimitra Kamarinou (Contact Author)

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law - Centre for Commercial Law Studies ( email )

67-69 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London, WC2A 3JB
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.qmul.ac.uk/staff/kamarinou.html

Christopher Millard

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law - Centre for Commercial Law Studies ( email )

67-69 Lincoln's Inn Fields
London, EC2A 3JB
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.qmul.ac.uk/staff/millard.html

Oxford Internet Institute

1 St Giles
Oxford, OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/

W. Kuan Hon

Imperial College London ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London, Greater London SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
552
rank
45,461
Abstract Views
2,754
PlumX