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Industry Says Gov't Must Regulate 'cloud' to Protect User Privacy

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The federal government needs to address electronic security to calm Americans' uncertainty about cloud computing and secure its privacy, according to industry representatives. Cloud computing technology is rapidly expanding. Industry experts meeting Wednesday (January 20) agreed that, without some sort of federal regulation or a global treaty, companies providing online services could face several challenges, including civil and criminal penalties.

Brad Smith, Microsoft senior vice president and general counsel, says most laws protecting data were written before the dawn of the Internet and do not protect or even address data on the cloud. Microsoft is proposing legislation that would strengthen the Electronic Communications Privacy Act to include privacy protections to the cloud that now apply to personal computers, Smith says. He also proposes modernizing the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to go after hackers.

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