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Cloud Computing - Protect your Data Without Falling from a Cloud

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Guidance from the Italian DPA to businesses and public bodies

Businesses and public bodies are going through a crash-course in innovation on the impulse given by a new type of technology and new service provision mechanisms – known as "cloud computing". Indeed, cloud computing has become almost a byword – at times inappropriately – for any type of ICT product or service. It is true that IT clouds do provide  major opportunities in terms of cost effectiveness and savings; however, they may also give rise to criticalities and additional costs, and this risk should be taken into due account.

To facilitate and foster innovation by businesses and public bodies, the Italian data protection authority decided to issue a "mini-vademecum" called "Cloud Computing – Protect Your Data without Falling from a Cloud". This guidance is addressed not only to experts, but to any entity wishing to better understand (and possibly use) these new technologies. Before outsourcing the management of data and documents or implementing new organizational models, one should ask oneself a few questions to carefully select the solution that is most appropriate to one´s business or institutional activities.

The guidance published by the Italian DPA includes specific examples and a Decalogue with practical tips and suggestions for further analysis. Businesses and public bodies can rely on this tool to start probing into the potential risks of cloud computing and decide what data should be moved to the cloud for what purposes. Making an informed choice will allow "flying up to the clouds" without any risk of falling down.

The vademecum includes five chapters: "Cloud Computing: What Is That?"; "Different Clouds for Different Needs"; "The Legal Framework"; "Assessing Risks, Costs, and Benefits"; "Ten Rules to Choose Knowledgeably". The first two chapters  describe the main types of "cloud" and their possible uses. The third chapter provides an overview of the applicable regulatory framework with particular regard to data protection. The final two chapters list the main criteria to assess costs and benefits in implementing cloud-based technologies along with pieces of practical advice to choose appropriately.

Please apply to Ufficio Stampa (Press Office), Piazza di Monte Citorio, 121 – 00186 Rome (email: ufficiostampa@garanteprivacy.it) to get a hard copy of the booklet. The electronic version can be downloaded from www.garanteprivacy.it.



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