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Legal Issues Related To Cloud Hosting

In South Africa, President Zuma recently signed a Privacy Protection Act into law. Various countries have similar laws in place.

Section 11 of said Act makes it a criminal offence to divulge/make known any personal details, contact information, etc., by any person to a third party. It seems a bit drastic but service providers, retailers, even banks have been selling contact details without consent.

This leaves one in a position where you may end up with a criminal record if you have been using cloud services to synchronize contacts, calendars, tasks, etc., via services such as Google and it gets leaked from there. The recent 145 million exposed accounts at eBay comes to mind.

In a criminal court, the state prosecutor may argue that the "reasonable man" should have foreseen such leaks, based upon the history of successful hacking attempts. It could be argued that the user should have refrained from using cloud services.


The sad thing is that, especially for Linux users, there currently is no local sync alternative, except for those who have the resources to run a server with something like ownCloud. Most users simply have no options as device manufacturers are adamant about pushing everything through the cloud.


I stand corrected on this, but I am almost 100% sure that a legal advisor from New Zealand or Australia voiced a similar concern. It is my hope that someone really develops a user-friendly (read: newbie) solution that can be easily installed and configured, at least for Android devices as this is used by the majority.

 

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