Take a moment from your day and pull out the last three or four cloud services agreements your company has entered into. Now, highlight the provisions in those agreements that specifically define how the vendor may use your data. You may be very surprised at the results. Some of the agreements may not even include language clearly defining what the vendor can and, more importantly, cannot do with your data. Likely, however, what you will see is language that grants the vendor broad rights to use your data for purposes other than simply performing the services for your company’s benefit.
Lack of specificity regarding the vendor’s rights to use customer data presents a significant risk in the majority of cloud services agreements. The following discusses two of the most critical issues presented by this risk and potential solutions:
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