Microsoft, Amazon and Apple have committed to improving services for their cloud customers, joining a number of other companies to have done so following a probe by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
The trio are the latest three cloud storage providers to say they will improve their terms and conditions since the CMA began its review into the space at the end of 2015.
Since the probe began, JustCloud, Livedrive, Dixons Carphone, BT, Dropbox, Google and Mozy have made changes to their contract terms.
Amazon, Apple and Microsoft have agreed to the following conditions outlined by the CMA: to give customers adequate notice before significant changes are made to the service; to give customers cancellation rights and pro-rata refunds if customers don't want to accept the changes; and to give adequate notice before service is suspended or cancelled.
The CMA claims cloud storage is used by around 30 per cent of people on a personal basis, which was part of the motivation behind the review.
Andrea Coscelli, CMA acting chief executive, said: "We are pleased that Amazon, Apple and Microsoft have joined seven previous companies in working with the CMA and agreeing commitments to improve their terms and conditions and, as a result, millions of cloud storage users will benefit from fairer terms which will help them make the right choices when using cloud storage services."
Cloud expert Ian Moyse, board member of the Cloud Industry Forum and FAST, said this development may be significant for businesses too.
"We can expect to see far more of this in B2C and B2B as both user demands and legal requirements from the likes of GDPR place firm requests on cloud providers," he said. "A big issue is that with 30 per cent of UK citizens having a cloud storage account, many of them will, by default, use these at work for transferring work files under the banner 'shadow IT'.
"In the new GDPR world this will put high risk on the business. Today the cloud storage providers have been known to call a business claiming 'we know 42 of your employees are using our service using their work email accounts; you should sign up to a business account to bring them into the fold'. This illustrates that the problem is known by the vendors themselves.
"For businesses to comply with the new GDPR data law, they will have new needs of cloud contracts in terms of transparency around data including greater transparency of where it's held, change notices and data destruction policies. Cloud vendors will need to become more transparent and fair with customers to help the customer and put the vendor in a favourable light."
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