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Using data base company for customer info on the cloud
November 16 2022
Using data base company for customer info on the cloud
          We are searching for new customer database/billing software--to house customer information, service appointments, service tickets and billing. All of the newer programs seem to be cloud based and can run billing for the dealer--print, process payments, follow up, etc. This seems to be the same with Biller Genie which is recommended on The Alarm Exchange. 
          Do you have any concerns with privacy? I asked the question of one of the companies we are considering and they responded that their agreements have strict confidentiality provisions to only use customer data for what we ask them to perform and they have robust firewalls. Do you see any reason that this is a liability for these companies to have access to customer information? 
          Please withhold my last name and company name if you publish this as I don't want to now be flooded with solicitations.
  Thank you,
          PS-recently used your firm for a background check and to purchase an employment agreement--all services were fantastic. 
          Yes I have concerns about privacy.  Lots of concerns.  I want my private information kept private.  As an attorney all of my client communications are private and confidential and I am of course privy to all kinds of client information.  As a United States Bankruptcy Trustee I am presented with and privy to the most intimate and detailed private information, especially financially related, and I am required to safeguard that information. 
          Before the age of computers we stored our confidential information in what we hoped were secured locations, though of course no place was really without risk of breach.  When computers came along we maintained Main Frames on site, a super CPU that housed all the data for all the computers in the network at the premises.  Remote access then became possible.  Then other people decided to house our data for us, on their Main Frames, at their facilities.  As technology become more sophisticated and complex the data that we create at our desk, in our facility, travels all over the “internet’ which could mean all over the world, before landing at someone’s Main Frame.  As I understand it, that’s how the “cloud” works.  Basically the data is stored somewhere other than at your office on your computer.  You need Internet access to connect to the other person’s Main Frame to access your data. 
          The potential for data breach is obviously present as the data makes its rounds.  The Main Frame it ends up on is subject to data breach as well.  But presumably the companies engaged in storing other peoples’ data also have the wherewithal to guard against breach; probably better than you could if you decided to store the data on your premises. 
          The possibility of misusing the data is just as possible as your own staff misusing the data.  I suspect that most “cloud based” data storage operations have the most updated and sophisticated tools available to guard against outside or inside breach. 
          Of course every cloud based operation will agree to confidentiality and to protect privacy.  They couldn’t stay in business without that pledge.  Theft, from within your business and from outside sources is a fact of life if you store the data on your premises or if you store it elsewhere in the cloud.
          I think the bottom line is that you need to do whatever you think is necessary to protect your confidential information and your customer’s confidential information, and relying on cloud based operations is likely a safe option.
          The Standard Form Agreements do address data breach from outside sources and cyberattack, and you won’t be liable for those events.

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301