Belgium: Moving towards the cloud – brief overview

Currently, no specific legal framework exists in Belgium to regulate cloud computing services or contracts. The cloud is regulated under Belgian law including general contract law principles, ecommerce law, consumer protection legislation (in a B2C environment), and data protection regulations.

Belgian regulatory authorities seem conscious of the specific legal issues that can arise in the cloud area. For example, the National Bank of Belgium launched a recommendation to Belgian financial institutions intending to use cloud for their customers (stating that this is considered an outsourcing agreement, on which the recommendations of the National Bank on outsourcing agreements are applicable).

The Belgian Privacy Commission is expected in the short term to issue an opinion on the privacy aspects of offering or using cloud services. Also in the Belgian Parliament, questions were raised on the use of cloud computing by the Belgian government and the security and privacy issues that can arise in this respect.

These and other initiatives may turn out to be a driving force for the adoption of legislation that specifically regulates the cloud.