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Noam Tamarkin

Data ownership and survival - another risk (and headache) of SaaS development

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Due to the increasing interest in my last post, I understood that a lot of people see risks in SaaS even if they cannot really specify those.

From the other hand, SaaS experts (see comments there) want to show that those risk are managed and worthwhile.

I agree with both sides and I would like to raise a risk that is not purely technical.

In the on-premise application, the customer was the owner of the data and also responsible for survival of the data. Anyone who bought a software package was also responsible for the backup, restore, corruption and the other technical aspects of data maintenance.

In SaaS, the technical responsibility is on the SaaS provider. That requires a special expertise that most on-premise software providers would not find within their staff.
It is also a liability that I hope the SaaS provider signs as part of the EULA or SLA document.

If I would put my company data on the cloud, I would definitely demand that.
Telling me that your data center will take of that, will simply not cut it.

The data itself is clearly owned by the customer. Really? I would discuss that in coming posts.

I hope you enjoyed the above text.




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Added by Noam: The following comment contains a very difficult case of data ownership.
Disclaimer:I did not check the information in the comment. The responsibility on the content is upon the commentator.
Assuming that it is true, it shows that there is little support in the law for the issue of separation of data from hardware.

The original comment:
Cloud Computing has major legal issues to overcome.

Data ownership legal issues will destroy small and medium business. Large business and Gov’t service and productivity will be curtailed because unknown legal ownership issues.

Search: Thyroff v. Nationwide computer theft.

For ten years I have been fighting to get restitution for the theft of my “Personal Data & Software.? I had twenty one years of client data stored on my personal software on a leased computer of which cost me $8,000 per year.

Latest Summary Judgement Ruling by Western District Judge Telesca

“because Nationwide was at all times the sole
owner of the computer at issue, I find that it was
in lawful possession of the computer when it
reclaimed the computer from Thyroff’s office.?

Prior to termination on September 19, 2000, of a twenty one year contract, Nationwide “locked? my leased computers by changing my personal passwords to Microsoft NT via a T-1 line from Columbus Ohio. One hour later terminated the agency agreement. Thirty days later removed my leased computers from my office. Nationwide ignored my request to return to me my personal information that was stored on non Nationwide software.

Successfully in the 2nd Circuit court (2005) my legal team won a landmark ruling, see Nick Akermans article.

This coming November 24th 2009 brings us back to the 2nd circuit court for an appeal on “Lawful Possession.?

If the 2nd circuit court holds Judge Telesca’s “newest? ruling, companies using and or want to use Cloud Computing could have a costly and lengthy legal battle if the Cloud Company does not return the producers data stating that they were in “Lawful Possession? of their server. Like all divorces what should be simple becomes a nightmare.

Our courts need to adapt to modern technology...and fast. My legal of ten years tells me “Cloud Computing? has major legal “data ownership? issues to overcome.



Noam I can't be the only company who lost their personal data and is now fighting the lack of law between data and hardware? Prior to computers, businesses used file cabinets to store information. Would it be legal for a office equiptment leasing company to enter your personal office building, change the cabinet locks, one hour later terminate the cabinet lease agreement, remove file cabinets twenty eight days later, and refuse to return personal files/data of the lessee stored in the leased file cabinet?

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In this blog, Noam Tamarkin provides ideas for improving and better integrating your applications.

Noam Tamarkin

Senior software architect and CTO. Experience in solution design and implementation. Holds the ability to understand complex business processes and translate them to technology. Expert in Enterprise applications, integration, SOA, SaaS. Experienced in project management, technical infrastructure, procurement and manufacturing.


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