4 thoughts on “Should Lawyers Use the Cloud?

  1. …. I’m curious as to the “ethical” implications of the cloud, I hadn’t heard that one brought up. I presume you are referring to cloud computing, or enterprise cloud network servers… Energy consumption? Security issues? Collective knowledge access?

    Or are you referring to the cloud as in “crowdsourcing” intelligence for cases?

  2. Guy,

    The ethical issue pertains to security and preservation of client confidentiality.

  3. Locally, you should have a chat with Peter Radizeski, he’s really on top of this stuff: http://rad-info.net/ … but my initial thought is if your information is properly encrypted and access controlled, should it matter if it’s in the cloud or not? You have vulnerabilities regardless, just different flavors and offsetting benefits. I attended a lecture a few years back that demonstrated that the biggest security weakness in any network is not the technology, but the people… where they store their passwords (stickynotes?), what they put in the garbage, what they say on the phone, whom they let use their computer.

  4. As an attorney who uses the cloud and uses SaaS vendors, I must say that the issue isn’t as open-and-shut as some may think. As professionals, we have ethical obligations that do play a role. So, we should look at the ToS for provisions that ensure access is limited to us and those we supervise (in other words, no client data on Google Docs), and we need to make sure security controls are as good as leaving a hard copy on our desks, for example.

    Being a hopeless optimist, I think the prior post clearly showed problems in the way lawyers have long done things, and new technologies are our opportunity to get it right. We are at an inflection point, and we should all make sure we embrace this new technology in an ethical way (my fear is that the rules could be written in an anti-competitive way because the rulemakers may not like the idea of having to adjust—it hasn’t happened yet, but it could).

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