Microsoft is urging Congress and the information technology industry to act now to ensure that cloud computing is guided by an international commitment to privacy, security and transparency for consumers, businesses and government.  A survey commissioned by Microsoft found that while the general population and senior business leaders are excited about the potential of cloud computing, most are concerned about the security, access and privacy of their information in the cloud and believe the government should establish laws, rules and policies for cloud computing.  Microsoft also has called for an international dialogue on data sovereignty to address users’ desire that rules and regulations governing their data remain uniform regardless of the physical location of the information.

Microsoft’s proposal includes reforming and strengthening the Electronic Communications Privacy Act to provide stronger protections for consumers and businesses; modernizing the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to give law enforcement the tools to prosecute malicious hackers and deter online-based crimes; enacting legislation to ensure that consumers and businesses know whether and how their information is accessed and used by service providers and how it will be protected online; and pursuing a new multilateral framework to address data access issues globally.