Am I allowed to encrypt customers data residing on their servers, preventing them from exporting the data to a competition without my help. I need it to make sure the customer doesn't change services before paying off the bill.
I'm providing them with the software to access data, the user is creating the data using my software, which saves it on the customers servers.
Question is if I'm allowed to save the data in a way only my software should be able to read it, with no option to export. the data is saved in a sql server database which gives the option to encrypt the data with a secret key, customer has no way of exporting that data without the key.
I guess the customer owns the data, and I'm not looking to take it away from them, Just need to block them from changing providers without contacting me first... once the customer is already hooked up with another similar software its very difficult for me to get the money out, even with the contract. On the other hand, if they need my help changing provider, I could get the money easily.
Customers don't sign long contracts when purchasing the software.. so there's no real agreement between us about the data etc.