Cloud Computing & Privacy

The emergence and increasing popularity of cloud computing services in the last few years only contributed to more privacy concerns. People are uploading huge chunks of (personal) data onto online consumer oriented services (such as DropBox, GoogleDocs, Apple iCloud, etc.). As a matter of fact, people are using cloud services as proxies for activities that would normally occur in their homes or on their personal computers (and consequently within their full control). Their expectations are transposed to the cloud, but in reality their information is now not only in the hands of a third party, but also subject to foreign laws. Privacy protection and security measures do not follow accordingly. Privacy policies only offer an illusion of choice and personal data is massively used to set up detailed profiles. Out-dated laws (and how they are interpreted) barely offer any remedies/ways to deal with (personal) data in the cloud (most notably in this regard is the lack of Fourth Amendment protection to data stored by third parties in the US).

The planned DP Directive reform in the EU and the push for an ECPA reform in the USA can only be encouraged. For as long as they provide sufficient protection to individuals, that is… .

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