It is far too easy to click “Accept” when downloading apps and software programs. And for some, perhaps, it’s not as invasive as others. But as attorneys you cannot claim neglect for doing so. With a broader acceptance of online file sharing and web-based solutions it is becoming even more critical that you pay attention! [...]
It is far too easy to click “Accept” when downloading apps and software programs. And for some, perhaps, it’s not as invasive as others. But as attorneys you cannot claim neglect for doing so. With a broader acceptance of online file sharing and web-based solutions it is becoming even more critical that you pay attention!
In a recent ethics seminar at the Tarrant County Bar association, Christopher T. Anderson and David Cox presented – Cloud Computing and the Impact on the Practice of Law. There are three key areas as a consumer of these solutions to watch out for, data security, data ownership and data accessibility.
Terms and conditions directly impact all three of these key areas you are responsible for understanding.
Take a look at these two popular non-legal specific online document storage and sharing tools. Very alarming language such as having no responsibility for loss or corruption of data, that they can associate all or a portion of a file you upload to their site if it looks similar to other files uploaded and giving carte blanche access to use, reproduce, publish, etc.
− BRAND X will have no responsibility for any harm to your computer system, loss or corruption of data, or other harm that results from your access to or use of the Services or Software
− BRAND X: If you add a file to your [Brand X] that has been previously uploaded by you or another user, we may associate all or a portion of the previous file with your account rather than storing a duplicate
− BRAND Y: When you upload … content to our Services, you give Brand Y (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works … communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content.
− BRAND Y: Your domain administrator may be able to … access or retain information stored as part of your account [and] restrict your ability to delete or edit information… or privacy settings.
Why should you care?
The ABA model rule1.6 not only says you shouldn’t reveal confidential client information to anyone without permission from the client, but that you must make reasonable efforts to prevent inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of, or unauthorized access to, information relating to the representation of a client.
Think twice before click “Accept”. View, print and make sure the terms and conditions that you are agreeing to and if you decide this is what you are going to do, be sure to inform your clients you are doing so.