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Copyright (c) 2011 Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law
Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law

NOTE: Cloudy Privacy Protections: Why the Stored Communications Act Fails to Protect the Privacy of Communications Stored in the Cloud

Spring, 2011

Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law

13 Vand. J. Ent. & Tech. L. 617

Author

Ilana R. Kattan*

Excerpt



While millions of people rely each and every day on cloud-based computing services, such as Gmail and Facebook, 1 cloud computing probably seems esoteric to laymen. Microsoft Corporation's recent slate of television commercials exploits the technology's mystique to bring "cloud computing" into users' lexicons, juxtaposing superhero-esque comedy with seemingly abstruse cloud computing. 2 In one commercial, a woman sits at an airport with her male companion. 3 She appears distraught over the news that her flight is delayed. 4 To the cue of superhero music, her male companion has an epiphany and saves the day by declaring, "to the cloud!" 5 Despite the woman's newfound serenity, however, she will face limited privacy protections when she goes "to the cloud." 6

Microsoft's commercials paint cloud computing as a more efficient model for end-users to "create and share. Anywhere." 7 However, the advertisements do not define the "cloud" or warn customers of the privacy implications of storing data there. 8 This Note explores the privacy concerns users face when transmitting and storing communications in the cloud. Additionally, it seeks to determine when the government may compel cloud service providers to disclose the communications they maintain on behalf of end-users.

To ensure the privacy of communications transmitted and stored electronically via new technologies - except when the government followed proper judicial procedures - Congress enacted the Stored Communications Act (SCA) as part of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA). 9 The SCA provides ...
 
 
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