Public clouds: no precautionary measures

In light of the Federal Administration’s plans to potentially store data in public clouds, a private individual requested that the Federal Administrative Court prohibit this proposal from going ahead. The individual also requested that precautionary measures be put in place. However, the Federal Administrative Court’s investigations have concluded that there is no specific and direct risk of the private individual’s data being stored in public clouds. The Court therefore rejects the application to decree precautionary measures in its procedural ruling.

Picture: Keystone

A private individual requested, among other things, that the Federal Administrative Court (FAC) publish a decree on precautionary measures associated with the potential storage of data in public clouds. Specifically, the requestor called on the FAC to instruct the Federal Chancellery to cease all work relating to the Swiss Confederation’s cloud strategy and to prohibit the storage of data in public clouds.

In its procedural ruling, the FAC concludes that the Swiss administrative justice system recognises neither a general abstract judicial review nor an actio popularis in this matter. The private individual can therefore only have an interest warranting protection in decrees on measures relating to the processing of its own personal data. In this regard, the FAC concludes from its investigation that there is no direct risk of the Federal Chancellery storing data about the individual in a public cloud. A decree on precautionary measures is therefore not necessary. The FAC rejects the request.

This interim order may be appealed to the Federal Supreme Court.

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