The New Zealand Computer Society (NZCS) released - on 29 May 2012 - its Cloud Computing Code of Practice at the Cloud Computing Summit in Auckland. The voluntary code, supported by companies such as Google and Microsoft, aims to create a seal program so that companies can 'build trust with prospective customers'.
''We warmly welcome the New Zealand ICT industry's initiative to develop a voluntary code of practice on cloud computing'', Marie Shroff, New Zealand's Privacy Commissioner, told DataGuidance. ''Both cloud providers and users are asking for authoritative guidance on how to manage the issues that cloud computing raises.''
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The Code aims to 'improve the standard of cloud services, set a standard of disclosure within the industry, create openness between suppliers and customers with regards to data protection and privacy, and strengthen the integrity of cloud computing in New Zealand'. The standard of disclosure covers information, such as data security measures, the location of the hosted data, how the data will be accessed and used, and data breach notification procedures.
''Ideally, we would hope that the Code would be sound enough, and have sufficient impact within industry practice, so that further regulation is not needed'', Shroff said. ''However, cloud computing has such major implications for people whose information is held and processed that we need to make sure that we get it right. If there are gaps in the law that need to be filled, then we should fill them. To help users understand their legal obligations, we are currently developing guidance on the privacy issues involved in cloud computing. We hope this guidance will also be useful to the industry as part of its code-making process''.
Joy Cottle, Project Coordinator at the NZCS, stated that cloud providers could sign up to the Code from 30 July 2012 and – subject to their disclosure policy being verified – will obtain a seal demonstrating their adherence to the Code, as well as inclusion on a register.
Cottle also said the NZCS will be developing a consumer complaints process in the future and will likely assume the majority of the responsibility for monitoring compliance.