Report cites potential privacy gotchas in cloud computing

World Privacy Forum claims that cloud-based services may pose risks to data privacy

On the other hand, Jeff Kalwerisky, chief security evangelist at Alpha Software and a former executive at Accenture's risk management consulting practice, said that while some of the privacy concerns are valid, technology fixes are available for many of them.

For instance, encrypting data, both while it's stored on a cloud vendor's servers and being transmitted to end users, mitigates some of the privacy risks associated with accidental or malicious exposure of the information, Kalwerisky said. In addition, implementing a two-factor authentication scheme for controlling access to data hosted by a cloud vendor will ensure that only users who have legitimate access to the data will be able to see it, according to Kalwerisky.

"You've got to think about some of these things carefully," he said. "But if you do all of it right, and you do all of it upfront, there isn't a heck of a lot of difference whether you [store data] yourself or if a cloud provider does it."

As with everything, there are risks and benefits to cloud computing, said Robert Gellman, a Washington-based privacy policy consultant who wrote the World Privacy Forum's report.

"It's not that there's anything sinister going on with cloud computing," Gellman said. "But information may be at risk for disclosure or uses that you didn't anticipate, and that may have legal consequences for you."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securitycloud computing

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jaikumar Vijayan

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?