Cloud Computing and Privacy Concerns

To best understand the Cloud Computing privacy issue, it is effective to divide the exposure use cases into three categories.

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Posted November 4, 2010

Diana Kelley

Cloud computing privacy can be examined within the three following three categories: 1) Unintentional user-driven data leaks; 2) Lack of controls or protections from the Cloud provider; and 3) Intentional data leaks for monetary gain. Diana Kelley discusses cloud privacy issues.

Privacy--or the lack thereof--accounts for many of the headlines grabbing readers’ attention on Internet use and cloud computing, in general. Recent coverage includes: Facebook’s URL referrer and application issues, where personal data is/was shared without user transparency, and Google’s referrer data leaks that prompted a former FTC employee to file a complaint with the FTC. Formal responses from Facebook’s and Google’s CEOs haven’t given users or businesses much comfort.

Google’s Schmidt infamously took a less than serious view of lost privacy when he suggested people change their names if poor privacy controls and teenage oversharing lead to problems when they reach adulthood. Facebook’s Zuckerberg emphasizes the benefits of sharing information in a social context, but skirts the topic of potential negative impact from sensitive data exposure.

There’s also little doubt that for most organizations a predominantly Cloud-based architecture is the future. Whether an enterprise opts to go Cloud for messaging and backup (ex: Exchange Hosted Services, SkyDrive, and Gmail), select services (ex: Salesforce and Lawson Enterprise Management Systems) or all messaging and productivity applications (ex: Google Applications for Enterprise (GAPE) and Education, Microsoft Office 365/BPOS), core privacy concerns persist because sensitive data exists in all of the above models.

Read the rest at eSecurity Planet.

Tags: cloud computing, security, Cloud, secure storage, Privacy policy

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