From the community

The Cloud Versus Privacy

Posted Feb. 12, 2014, at 3:26 a.m.

This is one war that is universal in the world of digital technology: it’s the great battle between those forthrightly supporting cloud services and those hesitant to adopt it. The issues of contention include confidentiality and privacy – two words that form the core of data accessibility.

These battles are raging across public institutions across countries, particularly those who have been targets of leakages, spying and espionage.

Clouded Where?

What does the oft-heard term, ‘Cloud computing’ mean? Simply explained, when we store photos on any online platform (instead of our PC), we’re using a cloud-based service. These can even include webmails or a social networking site. If we talk of a larger organization, an online invoice is a perfect example of a cloud computing service. And when it comes to hosting, most web hosts have their own data centers where they stack information in huge decks. These web hosts provide numerous plans and packages to clients for affordable web hosting.

Why Would Someone Want Your Data?

Cloud providers are often accused of partaking in ‘function creep’ – using cloud data in ways other than what it is meant for. Consent is not taken from the party providing the data. Given how inexpensive it is to keep data, there is little incentive to remove the information from the cloud as compared to reasons to find other things to do with it.

Privacy Concern

There are numerous areas of concern when dealing with security issues of cloud computing. These may include:

● Complicated Systems: The public cloud systems are vastly complex. In many instances of security, complexity has been a factor for increased risk. When compared to a data center, it has larger components, thereby making it a greater attack surface.

● Multiple-actor environment: Those who subscribe are almost always strangers to each other. Sharing information with third parties gets risky, as you really don’t know who’s using what information and how.

● Loss of Control: Once your data is on the net, you really don’t have much control over it. Migrating to a public cloud means transferring control of information and system components to a web host, that were previously under the organization’s direct control. Loss of control can affect an organization’s ability to weigh alternatives, prioritize and implement changes in security and privacy. As a result they may affect an organization’s performance.

● Privacy Laws: Many countries do not have a comprehensive framework when dealing with privacy thefts and related issues. A cloud service may be operated in a country different from your origin, a country with different laws and policies. However as cyber crime becomes a focus of many national governments, this will see a solution soon enough.

Conclusion:

Over the years, interest in cloud computing has grown by leaps and bounds. Advantages of greater flexibility and availability of computing resources at lower cost are tempting, but also to be kept in mind is privacy issues. While the privacy factor must not be a barrier, it must most certainly be a fair consideration.

Author bio:

A sustained interest in various facets of hosting technologies reflects in Sofia Brooks’ easy to connect and comprehensible views on a wide range of related topics. Currently she works with Hosting Reviewed to help keep abreast with the latest innovations in the industry.

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