Implications of cloud computing in terms of privacy protection and confidentiality

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According to Gellman (Gellman, 2009) there are several implications from cloud computing in terms of privacy protection and confidentiality:

  • Cloud computing has significant implications for the privacy of personal information as well as for the confidentiality of business and governmental information.
  • A user’s privacy and confidentiality risks vary significantly with the terms of service and privacy policy established by the cloud provider.
  • For some types of information and some categories of cloud computing users, privacy and confidentiality rights, obligations, and status may change when a user discloses information to a cloud provider.
  • Disclosure and remote storage may have adverse consequences for the legal status of or protections for personal or business information.
  • The location of information in the cloud may have significant effects on the privacy and confidentiality protections of information and on the privacy obligations of those who process or store the information.
  • Information in the cloud may have more than one legal location at the same time, with differing legal consequences.
  • Laws could oblige a cloud provider to examine user records for evidence of criminal activity and other matters.
  • Legal uncertainties make it difficult to assess the status of information in the cloud as well as the privacy and confidentiality protections available to users.
  • Responses to the privacy and confidentiality risks of cloud computing include better policies and practices by cloud providers, changes to laws, and more vigilance by users.