With programs such as iCloud, Evernote, and Expensify becoming ever more popular, and people beginning to store more and more of their personal information on the web, those using cloud computing are beginning to wonder whether or not their information is as safe as they originally believed.
Sites that use dedicated server colocation or dedicated server hosting are not completely insusceptible to hacks, but as far as the storage of information goes, they are some of the safest types of hosting to use on the market. Larger sites though, such as Facebook and Google, have their own data centers in which they keep all information stored.
The issue with having all of your information saved in a cloud isn’t exactly the risk of a hacker breaking in and stealing all of your information, it’s what large companies, like Facebook and Google, might do with all of that information stored. Facebook has come under fire for repeating violating user rights be distributing user data, and Google has openly stated that it is opposed to privacy.
However, both claim that users have full control of their data; that they retain ownership of everything that is uploaded. Google states that it “does not claim any ownership in any of the content…that you upload,” and Facebook states that “You own all content and information you post on Facebook.”
However, user rights are still violated, and users continue to question the state of their online privacy. Technically, the U.S has no legitimate data privacy or cloud regulation laws. It’s essentially a minimally enforced free-for-all. Since nothing truly prohibits companies from behaving badly, they do what they will with the information on their sites until someone raises a fuss about it. They say that it is better to do now, and ask for forgiveness later, but should this be the case with personal information?
Until the FTC and other global companies that regulate online issues form strong laws, cloud users should simply be aware of the companies they are choosing to use and be wary of putting all information on the web. While no one should necessarily give up Facebook or abandon their Gmail, they may want to consider what information they are sending across the web.
Always ask yourself who owns the data after you upload it. Check out company policies. Make sure that your data won’t be used for research you don’t approve of or that you’ll receive a copyright infringement suit should you use your own content again later. Also reconsider storing all confidential documents on the web. While clouds are fairly secure, they are better for storing music and photo files, not social security numbers, old tax forms, etc.
There is no doubt that stricter regulations will be imposed on companies utilizing cloud computing for their sites. However, cloud computing is still too new to have any definites. Until then, just remain aware of what you are putting on the web, and you should be okay.
This content provided by TheTechUpdate.com.