Who owns your Data when using a Software Company to process it?

In today’s digital age, businesses and individuals increasingly rely on software companies to process and manage their data. From cloud storage solutions to data analytics platforms, these services offer convenience and powerful capabilities.

However, A crucial question often arises:

Who owns the data when you use a software company to process it?


Understanding data ownership is essential for ensuring compliance, protecting privacy, and maintaining control over your (and your customers) valuable information.

You need to be able to access your own personal and your business information.

Let’s explore the key aspects of data ownership when using a software company for data processing.


Who Owns the Data?

 Individual or Business Ownership: Generally, you (or your business) retain ownership of the data you generate and provide to the software company. This includes personal information, business records, and other content you upload or create.

Service Provider Rights: While you own the data, the software company often has specific rights to use, process, and store the data. These rights are typically outlined in the company’s terms of service and privacy policies. It’s crucial to read these documents to understand what rights you are granting to the service provider.

The primary principle in business, is that your business owns the data, while the software company you use acts as a custodian or processor of that data.


Data Ownership in the Property Management Sector

  • The Property Factor can be both owner and the controller of the data. Controlling data on behalf of their end customers.


  • The software company are the data processor – using the data to help the Property Manager run their business more effectively to service their customers. Your company is at high risk if your software company claims to be anything other than a processor.


Key Considerations

  • Terms of Service and Privacy Policies: Carefully review the software company’s terms of service and privacy policies. These documents outline how your, or your company’s and customers’ data will be used, who has access to it, and any rights the service provider has regarding your data.


  • Data Processing Agreements: Many software companies offer data processing agreements (DPAs) that specify the terms under which they process your personal or business data. These agreements can provide additional assurances and clarify responsibilities regarding data ownership and protection.


  • Compliance with Data Protection Laws: Data protection laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States, grant individuals specific rights over their data. These laws often require software companies to ensure that users retain ownership and control over their personal data, even when it is processed by third parties.


  • Data Security and Privacy: Ensure that the software company employs robust security measures to protect your data. This includes encryption, access controls, and regular security audits.


  • Trustworthy software providers will be transparent about their security practices and compliance with relevant regulations.


  • Right to Access and Portability: Many data protection regulations grant you the right to access your data and request its portability. This means you can obtain a copy of your data and transfer it to another service provider if needed.


  • Data Deletion and Retention: Understand the software company’s policies on data retention and deletion. Ensure you have the ability to delete your data when you no longer need the service or if you decide to switch providers.


In the end…

When using a software company to process your personal or business data, you typically retain ownership of the data, while the service provider has rights to use and process it as outlined in their terms of service and privacy policies.

Understanding these terms and ensuring compliance with data protection laws are essential steps in maintaining control over your data.

By staying informed and proactive, you can leverage the benefits of software services while safeguarding your data ownership and privacy.


Software solutions change and evolve – it’s essential you can access your business and customer data when your business needs to grow in keeping with technological change.


Always review the agreements and policies of any software provider you use, and don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek clarification to ensure your data is handled in a manner that aligns with your business needs, personal expectations and legal requirements.