Six Lines

Cloud Computing Privacy

Posted by Aaron Massey on 28 Oct 2011.

A couple of weeks ago, Christopher Soghoian tweeted about a short video that’s really a great summary of one of the fundamental privacy problems of cloud computing:

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Corporate privacy concerns are more nuanced than government privacy concerns. You can argue that people can just switch to a competitor, as Schmidt does, but how practical is that? Some companies do quite a bit to lock you in. You can argue about creepy advertising, but there’s a real tradeoff there. Some people like seeing relevant ads in certain contexts.

Government privacy concerns are pretty straightforward. They have the guns, so to speak. Even massive corporations like Google cannot prevent the government from accessing your information if the law allows it. Given the state of data privacy laws in the U.S., this is a pretty serious problem for almost every application that uses cloud computing.