By Julian Bajkowski
The Rudd government’s new Minister Assisting for the Digital Economy, Senator Kate Lundy has publicly backed the creation of a new Cloud Consumer Protocol by the Australian Computer Society (ACS) for retail purchasers less than a week after formal guidance for government buyers was released by the Attorney General’s Department.
Senator Lundy said that the development of a the new protocol would encourage cloud vendors to provide consumers with clear and accurate information about their products and services.
The handing to the ACS of the development of what will effectively be a self-regulatory scheme for technology vendors represents a significant progress in relations between the peak group that was frequently sidelined from policy discussions during the Howard era.
The creation of a consumer code for cloud services of major importance to government service providers because the electronic service delivery arms of agencies will inevitably be forced to deal with consumers’ service providers.
The issue of digital identity management within cloud services remains a key challenge for agencies and industry alike as vested interests like Australia Post jostle to create a federal mandate to force the adoption of its digital mailbox platform as an identity brokerage monopoly for government interaction.
"It is important that business and government are in lock-step in developing consumer protections when implementing the National Cloud Computing Strategy," said Senator Lundy.
"Once developed, the Cloud Consumer Protocol will ensure purchasers of cloud services, and in particular small businesses, have the information, tools and safeguards they need to use cloud services confidently," she said
The ACS has issued a discussion paper and called for comment from both industry and consumers on what areas the Cloud Protocol should cover and the issues it needs to address.
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