Does anyone read the small print of web services?

When we look for a new service the main considerations are usually the price and the level of service, but no one (or almost no one) bothers to read the Terms and Conditions (or Service Level Agreements) that represent the official contract between the client and the company. And Yes, even in a pay per use service there is a contract between the two entities.

It is a fact that these T&C are design to be ignored: they are written in a “legal language” most people don’t understand, usually presented as just a link in the final steps of the service purchase and open in a different Window of the browser. Several reports prove that the percentage of users that actually click in the links and read it is minimal.

But this can turn out to be a huge mistake for a company, especially when it comes to cloud computing and the management of critical business information.

When you depend on a Cloud Service you have to check meticulously the Service Level Agreement before you sign in for the service. Where is my data storage? What is the uptime guaranteed? If there is a service outage can I continue using the cloud? These are some of the right questions you need to present to the company providing the service. And the answers are important so you know what to account for.

But there are other tricky aspects of the Terms & Conditions you should be aware. Do you know that in some services like Amazon AWS and Google Drive contain clauses in the terms give them the right to use data stored within their services?

It is – at least – inappropriate and unreasonable for cloud providers to claim any rights over data stored on their servers, particularly in an economy where Data is one of the most valuable assets of a Company.

And now, please, go on and return to your cloud service website and read the T&C…

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