IAITAM: Google CEO Testimony Before Congress Underscores Growing Threat to SMBsWednesday, December 19, 2018
Posted by Reagan Reeve
Rapid Spread of “EULA” Is One-Way Street That Upends Decades of Negotiations With Software/Web Service Providers and Exposes Information Technology Asset Managers to Considerable Uncertainty, Risk.
SMBs and individuals concerned about their legal rights and privacy should educate themselves about the testimony Congress heard last week from Google CEO Sundar Pichai, according to Dr. Barbara Rembiesa, president and CEO of the International Association of IT Asset Managers (IAITAM).
In his remarks to federal lawmakers, Pichai was reluctant to be pinned down about what Google does and doesn’t do about tracking individuals. The Google CEO also indicated that virtually anything the search engine giant decides it wants to do can be permitted under the use of unsigned “contract URLs” known as End User License Agreements (EULA).
Complex and lengthy EULAs go unread by nearly all individuals and even by many SMBs. Even if the documents are read, they have little fixed meaning, since EULA-using software and web service providers reserve the right to unilaterally change any of the terms at any time and with no advance notice of any kind.
Prior to the rise of EULA, corporate IT Asset Management (ITAM) experts would work with software SMBs in ensuring that the contract terms served the interest of both parties and that they could be relied upon over time. The expanding use of EULAs for cloud-based storage, software and other services relied upon by tens of thousands of US SMBs means that the vast majority of the SMBs have no real rights or recourse.
IAITAM President and CEO Barbara Rembiesa said: “Written, signed agreements and contracts are fading and giving way to a new contractual style: contract URLs. SMBs are currently being invaded organically by URL contracts without even realizing what has happened. With providers being the ones driving this change, their legal staffs are much more equipped to handle this than that of your company.”
Rembiesa added: “IT Asset Managers need to understand that this is an unsigned and non-negotiated agreement that is generated through multiple purchases or use agreements and may exist on a product-by-product basis. These contracts can also be changed at any time with little or no warning or notification from the provider. Contractual URLs will dictate what you do, how much you pay, how you pay, what can be changed, etc., for many years to come.”
The IAITAM head said that Congress has done a real service for American businesses, large corporations and SMBs alike, and consumers by questioning Google CEO Pichai and exposing the dangers and uncertainties posed by EULA contracting arrangements.
The International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers, Inc., is the professional association for individuals and organizations involved in any aspect of IT Asset Management, Software Asset Management (SAM), Hardware Asset Management, Mobile Asset Management, IT Asset Disposition and the lifecycle processes supporting IT Asset Management in organizations and industry across the globe. IAITAM certifications are the only IT Asset Management certifications that are recognized worldwide. For more information, visit www.iaitam.org, or the IAITAM mobile app on Google Play or the iTunes App Store.