SaaS Agreements – Data Protection – Microsoft must disclose data on EU server

Many SaaS customers falsely believe that if their SaaS data is stored in a data centre located in the EU it will be protected against disclosure to the US authorities. This is incorrect. The recent US court ruling against Microsoft has confirmed the position, namely that SaaS suppliers and SaaS customers who use data centres located in the EU, owned by US companies, cannot prevent US authorities from accessing their data.

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SaaS Agreements – Data Protection – BYOD

Employees are increasingly using their privately owned devices (i.e. Ipads, tablets, mobile phones and laptops) for business purposes and may be accessing SaaS customer data using them. SaaS suppliers who allow staff to use such “bring your own devices” (BYOD) for work purposes should be aware of their duties to protect any SaaS customer personal data being accessed by staff using such BYODs.

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SaaS Agreements – Data Protection – Update on the EU Draft Data Protection Regulation

SaaS suppliers should be aware of the recent changes made by the EU Parliament to the draft EU Data Protection Regulation (Regulation). If this amended version of the Regulation becomes law next year the obligations of SaaS suppliers who process personal data on behalf of customers will radically change. A summary of the current main proposed provisions is set out below.

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SaaS Agreements – Hosting – Encryption of Stored Data

Under the Data Protection Act (DPA), SaaS customers are required to take “appropriate technical and organisational measures” to prevent the unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data. SaaS providers who process personal data on behalf of SaaS customers are required to include such obligations in their SaaS agreement (or SLA).

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SaaS Agreements – Data Protection – IT Security Requirements

n January 2013 Sony was fined 250,000 GBP for failing to take “appropriate technical measures” to protect the security of personal data stored on its PlayStation Network (PSN) in breach of the Data Protection Act (DPA). In light of the lack of guidance currently provided by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on data protection security SaaS suppliers should be aware that the ICO plans to draw up new guidelines.

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SaaS Agreements – FAQs – Prism

In light of recent and ongoing “prism” revelations, SaaS suppliers are having to deal with numerous queries about the safety of SaaS customer data. Many customers mistakenly believe that by using a non-US data centre their SaaS customer data is safe against disclosure to the US authorities. Below is a summary of the most common concerns being raised by SaaS customers.

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SaaS Agreements – FAQs – Data Controller

It is important for a SaaS supplier to understand the legal obligations imposed upon a data controller when negotiating a SaaS agreement as the duties of a data controller are not the same as the duties of a data processor. In a SaaS relationship the supplier is always the data processor of the SaaS customer. The SaaS customer is always the data controller. Below is a summary of the obligations of a data controller.

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SaaS Agreements – Data Protection – Prism and US Laws

SaaS suppliers should be aware of relevant US laws when outsourcing SaaS services (data storage and hosting) to US companies or companies located in the USA. SaaS customers are becoming increasingly concerned about outsourcing in the USA following media reports about “Prism”. Namely, that the National Security Agency (NSA) accesses personal data stored on the servers of Microsoft, Apple, Google, Yahoo, Facebook and a few other major US public companies. Below is a summary of the most relevant US laws that SaaS suppliers should be aware of.

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SaaS Agreements – Data Protection – HIPAA

On January 25th 2013, the US Department of Health and Human Services modified the rules of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act 1996 (“HIPAA”). HIPAA applies to any SaaS suppliers who process protected health information (“PHI”) on behalf of customers to whom the Act applies, regardless of whether or not the SaaS supplier is located in the USA.

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