Widespread adoption of cloud computing has been a game changer for many businesses. However, the high-profile data privacy case that pits Microsoft Corp. against the U.S. Department of Justice may be a prelude to stormy weather. The case, which will be argued in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Sept. 9, could determine whether the U.S. government has the power to seize the personal data of a company’s clients, even when that data resides overseas.
The case has attracted a lot of attention because Microsoft and the many companies and organizations that have supported its position fear that an adverse ruling could shake customer trust in U.S. cloud providers. Andrew Pincus, a Mayer Brown partner who filed an amicus brief for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other organizations, said that a government win would set a “very dangerous precedent” that could lead other countries to seize data on U.S. servers. “If the U.S. government does the same thing, how is the U.S. government supposed to oppose that?” he said.
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