Magazine article Information Management

Personal Clouds Can Present Security Problems

Magazine article Information Management

Personal Clouds Can Present Security Problems

Article excerpt

In an age in which employees can "bring their own cloud" (BYOC) to the workplace, efforts to protect an organization's proprietary information can be challenging.

In a recent action, PrimePay v. Barnes, the plaintiff filed a trade secret misappropriation suit against one of its former executives (Barnes) who had established a competing business. The plaintiff sought a preliminary injunction against the operation of Barnes' business, arguing that he had taken confidential company information and stored it in Dropbox.

The plaintiff argued that Barnes used the Dropbox-stored data to help start his new company and then destroyed the materials after the plaintiff warned him "to preserve any PrimePay electronically stored information that he possessed."

The court rejected the plaintiff s argument because Barnes' Dropbox account fell under the company-approved BYOC policy:

"Barnes created the Dropbox [account] ... so that he could transfer and access files when he worked remotely on PrimePay matters if he was away from the office, on vacation, or elsewhere and needed access to the PrimePay files, all with the knowledge and approval of [PrimePay owner] Chris Tobin."

Dropbox was a company-approved BYOC provider and, considering factors that suggested Barnes did not access the Dropbox files after leaving his employment with PrimePay, the court found no evidence of trade secret misappropriation and did not issue a preliminary injunction against the operation of Barnes' company. …

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