Opinion: Lawyers can ethically keep confidences in a cloud

Tennessee lawyers can store confidential documents and information in the cloud, according to an opinion issued this month by the Board of Professional Responsibility’s Ethics Committee.

Further, from the Tennessean:

The opinion says attorneys can put information on the third-party, remote digital storage systems as long as they take “reasonable care” to make sure that information stays confidential and is protected from being hacked.

That language is essential as growing numbers of people and industries rely on cloud storage, said Daniel Gervais, a Vanderbilt University Law School professor with a specialty in intellectual property law.

He said the opinion does not bind lawyers to follow certain protective measures, but allows for them to change protections as weaknesses in the cloud are discovered.

“As lawyers learn more about the cloud, as we find out more ways it’s unsafe, the ‘reasonable efforts’ standard changes with it,” he said.

Cloud hacking is a real concern: In 2014 nude images of celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton spread across the Internet. Apple fixed bugs in its iCloud software after the hack, according to media reports

…”A lawyer owes the same ethical duties, obligations and protections to clients with respect to information for which they employ cloud computing as they otherwise owe clients … with respect to information in whatever form,” the opinion reads.