Where is your data?

Most of the ethics committee that have looked at the issue of cloud-computing by attorneys has focused on the idea that an attorney has to take reasonable steps to know where and how their data is stored.

That knowledge includes where your data is stored.  Your data stored with Online Legal Software sits on servers we own in suburban Detroit, with instantaneous back-up to secondary servers in other parts of the midwest.

Many other companies aren’t as forthcoming with the specifics of where your data is stored.  This is understandable when you realize that use of third-party servers (who often make use of data storage in foreign countries) and general storage of data in other counties, from Canada to India, is common-place.

Is this by itself a bad thing?  Not necessarily, but problems could arise should, say, the data be subject to subpoena, etc.  Is it subject to the foreign countries’ laws?  What are those laws?  Have you satisfied your ethical duty if you don’t know the answer?      

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