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Cloud computing: Businesses still don't know what they're getting into

ZDNet - Cloud service contracts are still too complex for many businesses to grasp the potential risks and liabilities, according to Europe's digital agenda commissioner, Neelie Kroes.

Businesses are buying into cloud services without fully understanding what they're paying for and what they can expect from the service, Kroes wrote in a blogpost on Friday.

"One of the big barriers to using cloud computing is a lack of trust. I think you should be able to know what you're getting and what it means — and it should be easy to ensure that the terms in your contract are reasonable: open, transparent, safe and fair. Even if you don’t have a law degree," she said.

To address this confusion, the European Commission wants to make available boilerplate contracts which businesses could use when buying cloud services.

The commission has put out a call for experts — academics, lawyers and end-users — who can advise it on how to draw up these contracts, which will be made available in 2014.