The European Commission announced that the European Cloud Partnership facilitated the meeting of an expert group of lawyers, cloud service providers and customers on November 20, 2013 to “cut through the jungle of technical standards on cloud computing” by setting down safe and fair terms and conditions, and develop an exemplary template contract for cloud computing in accordance with the 2012 European Cloud strategy ‘Unleashing Potential in the Cloud’.

The hot topics on the agenda:

  • Data preservation after termination of the contract
  • Data disclosure and integrity
  • Data location and transfer
  • Ownership of the data
  • Direct and indirect liability
  • Change of service by cloud providers
  • Subcontracting

Commission Vice President Viviane Reding commented “The group's aim is to provide a balanced set of contract terms for consumers and small to medium-sized businesses to support them to use Cloud computing services with more confidence.”

The outcome of the meeting of the experts will be produced in a report due to be published by the Commission in early 2014.