Massachusetts Lawyers May Use Cloud/SaaS Services

July 24, 2012 in Cloud, Confidentiality, Electronic Files, Massachusetts by PeterK

A lawyer generally may store and synchronize electronic work files containing confidential client information across different platforms and devices using an Internet based storage solution, such as “Google docs,” so long as the lawyer undertakes reasonable efforts to ensure that the provider’s terms of use and data privacy policies, practices and procedures are compatible with the lawyer’s professional obligations, including the obligation to protect confidential client information reflected in Rule 1.6(a). A lawyer remains bound, however, to follow an express instruction from his or her client that the client’s confidential information not be stored or transmitted by means of the Internet, and all lawyers should refrain from storing or transmitting particularly sensitive client information by means of the Internet without first obtaining the client’s express consent to do so. Massachusetts Ethics Opinion 12-03. (May 17, 2012)