eDiscovery Primer: Hosting Agreements – Part 2

Hosting Agreement (2)

There are many issues that need to be considered when it comes to hosting agreements. Known most popularly as the “terms and conditions” website page that users must click through before joining or logging in, this simple agreement defines the terms by which two parties elect to do business together. It’s important to have a firm grasp on common hosting arrangements before agreeing, as any agreement may impact future e-discovery efforts. Here are some common questions and answers.

 

Is the stored data safe?

Providers offer some level of data protection, all of which should be outlined in the hosting agreement. However, regardless of any available security, information may still be subject to e-discovery in case of litigation.

How private is the stored data?

Confidentiality guidelines should also be specified in the hosting agreement. In some cases, providers may be prevented from sharing data with third parties (such as advertisers), while other agreements may specify that providers are allowed access to view or share data under certain circumstances. This is one reason that reading the agreement over is so important. Privacy terms may also offer protection against e-discovery, or may include litigation as an “out” that negates other privacy practices.

Is stored data easily accessible?

This is a detail that’s likely to vary from provider to provider, and should be weighed carefully before entering into any agreement. For users who depend on full-time access, usage restrictions may not acceptable, and should be examined carefully.

Are hosting agreements negotiable?

In some cases, they may be. For example, the terms and conditions listed to use a stock photo site probably aren’t negotiable, while a corporate data management and hosting plan could very well be. Be sure to keep records of any agreements to refer back to if needed.

If you would like more information about eDiscovery or how TERIS solutions can assist you, please contact us!

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