Privacy On Public Clouds – Five Issues You Must Know About

Privacy On Public Clouds – Five Issues You Must Know About

Privacy On Public Clouds – Five Issues You Must Know About

Cloud computing is everywhere and presents a compelling value proposition for its end users. However issues like privacy and security still are grey areas when it comes to public clouds. Here presented are five issues one must be aware of: 

1. You own the data and hence the responsibility CSP

Many cloud users do not know the answer to this question – Who owns my personal information once I upload it on the Cloud Service Provider’s (CSP) server? Most public cloud service providers recognize that the user retains ownership of data once it is uploaded. (e.g. https://www.facebook.com/legal/terms) This also means that you have decided to trust the CSP with handling of your data. The CSP may have some responsibility for handling the information safely but not all. You may choose a different service provider or choose not to put particular data on cloud altogether. But the buck stops at you are responsible for the data you put up there.

2. CSPs collect much more data

Typically at the time of joining you provide certain details including personally identifiable information (PIIs) to CSP. But you will be surprised to know that they know a lot more about you. The additional information is derived from your regular usage of their services. This includes when you log in, for how long you are connected, devices you use, location from where you connect, applications you use etc. Various mechanisms are employed to collect these details. Common methods use browser web storage, application data caches, cookies, pixel tags and anonymous identifiers.

3. You have only limited control over data

It is common for CSPs to provide few privacy options to end users. But there is a catch. Firstly you do not get to control every data, only a subset of privileges is offered. Secondly these options help you customize how rest of the world sees your information. Your CSP still has full access to the data, and they use it for a variety of purposes (e.g. http://www.google.co.in/intl/en/policies/privacy/). You cannot stop them from doing that because it is covered in the contract.

However, you still have some absolute powers in the form of local browser security settings. You can set the desired security levels and in effect block cookies or other scripts from executing. But there is a cost associated with this. The moment you say block cookies, many features may stop working. CSPs clearly state that in their terms and conditions. So if you want to get full features from the cloud this is not a practical option.

4. Encryption is your true friend

What if you have already signed up with cloud service provider? You still have a friend in terms of encryption. You can encrypt all your sensitive data before storing it on the cloud. This adds an additional security layer, control of which lies entirely with you. It may not be to the CSPs liking but highly recommended as this will fetch you greater control over safety of your data.

5. Law of the land may not apply

Unfortunately, privacy laws all over the world are still evolving and there is no global standard. While you may be governed by the state laws you live in, the same may not apply to your data. Your CSP and eventually the server where your data resides, may come under a different jurisdiction. So think again if you are counting on local laws to come to your rescue in case of a breach.

By Manoj Tiwari

About CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading authorities in connected technology information and services.

We embrace and instill thought leadership insights, relevant and timely news related stories, unbiased benchmark reporting as well as offer green/cleantech learning and consultive services around the world.

Our vision is to create awareness and to help find innovative ways to connect our planet in a positive eco-friendly manner.

In the meantime, you may connect with CloudTweaks by following and sharing our resources.

View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

On Demand With The Gig Economy

On Demand With The Gig Economy

The Gig Economy By now, you’ve probably heard the phrase Gig Economy or seen services offered as “on-demand”. If you’re like 90 million Americans, then you’ve participated in this freelance workforce revolution as either a client or provider. The rise of apps connecting professional services, goods, and lodging directly to consumers via their smartphone is…

5 Cloud-Based Customer Service Trends

5 Cloud-Based Customer Service Trends

Customer Service Trends Customer service has become the new battleground in today’s marketplace. In fact, 97 percent of customers around the world now say that customer service makes a key difference in whether they decide to go with a brand or not, Microsoft reports. Many of the biggest changes in today’s customer service landscape center…

Conquering Disease with Artificial Intelligence and IBM Watson

Conquering Disease with Artificial Intelligence and IBM Watson

Artificial Intelligence and IBM Watson Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is growing increasingly pervasive in today’s modern world. Perhaps the most publicized and recognizable application of AI to date, IBM’s Jeopardy-winning computer, Watson, is now being used to help cure cancer. IBM announced the development of Watson for Genomics on Wednesday at the National Cancer Moonshot…

The Fundamentals of Predictive Analysis

The Fundamentals of Predictive Analysis

Predictive Analysis  Article sponsored by SAS Software and Big Data Forum Analytics is playing an increasingly important role in our lives thanks in large part to internet of things (IoT) developments and a greater appreciation of Big Data. With solutions that range across business productivity, health care, individual and national security, new insights are regularly…

Clouding Around With The Unicorns

Clouding Around With The Unicorns

The Social Unicorn Early investors and technology consumers alike love the poignantly named “Unicorn” companies, or private startups that reach the $1 billion valuation. The most recent unicorn spotting is social media game-changer Snapchat, which was recently valued at $16 billion. According to a recent infographic from Alexa discovered via Adweek, Snapchat also proves to…

5 Surprising Ways Cloud Computing Is Changing Education

5 Surprising Ways Cloud Computing Is Changing Education

Cloud Computing Education The benefits of cloud computing are being recognized in businesses and institutions across the board, with almost 90 percent of organizations currently using some kind of cloud-based application. The immediate benefits of cloud computing are obvious: cloud-based applications reduce infrastructure and IT costs, increase accessibility, enable collaboration, and allow organizations more flexibility…

The Cloud Above Our Home

The Cloud Above Our Home

Our Home – Moving All Things Into The Cloud The promise of a smart home had excited the imagination of the movie makers long ago. If you have seen any TV shows in the nineties or before, the interpretation presented itself to us as a computerized personal assistant or a robot housekeeper. It was smart,…

Cloud Computing – The Real Story Is About Business Strategy, Not Technology

Cloud Computing – The Real Story Is About Business Strategy, Not Technology

Enabling Business Strategies The cloud is not really the final destination: It’s mid-2015, and it’s clear that the cloud paradigm is here to stay. Its services are growing exponentially and, at this time, it’s a fluid model with no steady state on the horizon. As such, adopting cloud computing has been surprisingly slow and seen more…

Consequences Of Combining Off Premise Cloud Storage and Corporate Data

Consequences Of Combining Off Premise Cloud Storage and Corporate Data

Off Premise Corporate Data Storage Cloud storage is a broad term. It can encompass anything from on premise solutions, to file storage, disaster recovery and off premise options. To narrow the scope, I’ve dedicated the focus of today’s discussion to the more popular cloud storage services—such as Dropbox, Box, OneDrive—which are also known as hosted,…

Mobile Connected Technologies – The Future Of The Healthcare Industry

Mobile Connected Technologies – The Future Of The Healthcare Industry

Mobile Connected Technologies Clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities are embracing new mobile technologies in order to be more efficient in their daily tasks. With faster communication and better collaboration, clinicians can spend much less time handling medical devices and more time administering care to their patients. Industry experts are stating that mobile connected technologies…

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud One of the least considered benefits of cloud computing in the average small or mid-sized business manager’s mind is the aspect of disaster recovery. Part of the reason for this is that so few small and mid-size businesses have ever contemplated the impact of a major disaster on their IT…

5 Reasons Why Your Startup Will Grow Faster In The Cloud

5 Reasons Why Your Startup Will Grow Faster In The Cloud

Cloud Startup Fast-tracking Start-ups face many challenges, the biggest of which is usually managing growth. A start-up that does not grow is at constant risk of failure, whereas a new business that grows faster than expected may be hindered by operational constraints, such as a lack of staff, workspace and networks. It is an unfortunate…