Critically examine the major issues around regulation of Cloud services and Cloud service providers in India.

Cloud computing refers to the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on internet to store, manage and process data, rather than using local server.Its use has been on rise as it provides great platform to scale reach of different educational, healthcare and financial services, governance due to cost benefit, mobility and infinite storage.
For orderly growth of industry and create confidence in consumer and to tackle privacy and confidentiality issues, regulatory framework is required.

  • India does not have specific law concerning Cloud computing, the service can be regulated under different laws such Indian telegraph act , Information Technology Act 2000.
  • In India, the Civil Procedure Code 1908 bases the territorial jurisdiction on two principles. First being the place of residence of the defendant or the second the place where the cause of action arises. However, no clear guidelines have been provided as to how this would be determined, especially in cases involving cyber-crimes, which took place over the internet as per TRAI consultation paper.
  • Jurisdictional issue as the physical location of data may be different from the point of data generation
  • The Information Technology Act, 2000 does not deal with the issue of privacy directly, which is a major concern with cloud computing services, but a few provisions have deal with the right to privacy. It deals with unauthorized access, breach of privacy and confidentiality and hacking. For example, section 72 of the Act directly deals with ‘confidentiality’ and ‘privacy’ of individuals. However, this provision seems to be insufficient in addressing the larger issues of violation of privacy due to its narrow scope and application.
  • Customers are vulnerable to disruption in service for which service providers and intermediaries own no responsibility for any damage due to it.
  • Intellectual property rights are governed by different set of laws in different countries and making it difficult to apply IPR law in cloud computing environment.

Thus, currently available recourse is inadequate to meet the growing challenges in cloud computing environment. Cloud computing requires international collaboration to deal with complex cross border data flow.

Question for UPSC Mains:
Critically examine the major issues around regulation of Cloud services and Cloud service providers in India.

Published: September 25, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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