Cloud computing: Facebook, CLOUD Act, and privacy concerns

What do Facebook and the CLOUD Act mean for the cloud computing privacy currently? Check out our article to have a deep insight into this problem.

Introduction

A considerable amount of cloud computing technology is already being used and developed in different forms such as private, public, internal, external, etc. Not all kinds of cloud computing have the same privacy and confidentiality issues.


And with the appearance of the Cloud Act, despite its little disturbance, data in public clouds is still trusted more than in private data centers.

Moreover, currently, social networking, particularly Facebook, and cloud computing are being used together in a number of ways.

Hence, there is a curious question raised here and related to the affection of Facebook as well as the Cloud Act to the cloud privacy.

The general status

Organizations and enterprises feel fairly anxious about the data breaches that seem to occur from time to time. It is also said that social networking systems are gathering and using all sorts of data about everyone.

That data may include the information about you, your friends, your relatives, your peers and even employees. Some of that information was not intentionally provided to users.

At present, the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act or CLOUD Act has appeared and become the law to reflect industry cloud computing practices and allow the law enforcement to gather corporate data of users from overseas cloud servers.

Accordingly, cloud users wonder whether they should be concerned about the privacy and data protection in the cloud.

Some circumstances to consider

Regarding the status mentioned above, there are two following main circumstances to consider.

Social network: Facebook

The former is Facebook. This social network together with Twitter, YouTube, and other ones are not supposed to be clouds.

They have privacy policies that, mostly, allow them to collect data as they wish. And membership is free, so don’t join their social networks in case you don’t enjoy or agree with these policies.
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However, there exists a huge issue. Facebook at least allows others to gather customer data, and it did not control the use of that data.

That is not a data security breach, but a serious flaw in the system. That flaw is said to be closed now, but if you think this problem as a single localized instance, you will soon feel more surprises.

The Cloud Act

The latter is the Cloud Act. Generally, this law updates U.S data privacy and government surveillance laws enacted in 1986.

It reflects current technology and practices – particularly concerning cloud computing, and let law enforcement to grab data from offshore servers upon request.

This law was passed with few questions as part of the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill to fund the government that was approved by Congress in March 2018.

The CLOUD Act may be a bit disturbing. Anyway, unless your company expects to get the notice of law enforcement, this new law is not going to affect your cloud privacy.

The public cloud may be better

Now, let's return to the question of almost cloud users: should we be worried about the privacy and data protection in the public cloud?

Service-level agreements (SLAs) and privacy policies involved in signing up with a public cloud provider and those involved in signing up for a social network account are totally different.

Also, the privacy protections involved in signing a commercial lease vs. signing up for a frequent-flyer program are different like that.

For example, to the business leasing company, if a cloud vendor tries to collect data from its customers secretly and then is subsequently caught, it will lose those customers, its reputations and even its business once the lawsuits are settled.

After all, the data in public clouds may be trusted more than data in private data centers, where people usually walk by the server cage area.

Conclusion

When governments react to privacy issues in well-meaning but sometimes clumsy ways, you had better observe and seek what is best for your enterprise and your company’s data. And the public cloud is still supposed to be the best alternative.

Hopefully, this article about privacy concerns around the cloud computing may bring you a deep insight into such problems and answer some of your questions about this technology.


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