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Tuesday, 01 December 2015 01:28

CMA to review compliance in cloud storage sector

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The Competition and Markets Authority is launching a review of the cloud storage sector for compliance with consumer law 

Consumer concerns over cloud storage pricing and the level of service offered has prompted a new review by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in to the cloud storage sector. And although the review is aimed solely at the consumer sector it will no doubt have knock-on effect on the growing business market in cloud storage.

The new CMA review will look at the cloud storage market and how the businesses supplying the storage are conforming – or not – to current UK consumer law, and follows reports of dodgy practices and abuse of storage terms that may breach consumer law. For example, the CMA has heard about consumers being surprised by significant price increases and by reductions to unlimited storage capacity deals after contracts have been agreed. The CMA is also aware of concerns about the loss or deletion of some consumers’ data.

The review will also have ramifications for those selling cloud storage to businesses, as while an estimated 40% of UK adults use cloud storage services, many of those are also using the service for a combination of personal and work use, and cloud storage has been a catalyst for many businesses to consider cloud services.

The review is open for responses until 15 January 2016. The CMA wants to hear from businesses about their practices and from consumers and industry experts about their experiences.

Commenting on the forthcoming review, Nisha Arora, CMA Senior Director, Consumer, said: “Cloud storage is a dynamic and growing sector which is already highly valued by consumers. We want to hear from business, interested organisations and consumers about their experiences, to assess whether companies understand and comply with consumer law and whether cloud storage services are working well for consumers as a result.”

Concluding “If our review finds breaches of consumer protection laws we will take further action to address these which could include enforcement action using our consumer law powers, seeking voluntary change from the sector or providing guidance to business or consumers.”

Do you know of any examples of sharp practices in the file storage sector?

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