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Privacy issues with cloud computing

Judith Myerson recently published a developerWorks article on cloud computing versus grid computing. It’s a fantastic read if you’re new to the topic, and provides tons of links for where to learn more. While introducing the topic, Myerson lays out the basic relationship between the two. In the article, when describing some of the basic differences, she points out that one of the big advantages (among several) of cloud computing is on-demand resource provisioning.

Myerson then goes on to discuss some issues to consider. Those include threshold policy, interoperability issues, hidden costs, unexpected behavior, and security concerns. As you continue your research in cloud computing, you’re likely to find that it’s security concerns in particular that get people talking. In a recent Computerworld article on cloud computing not being fully enterprise-ready, author Craig Stedman points out that many cloud computing vendors might not be ready to support corporate IT due to security concerns. A more detailed article on the topic by Jaikumar Vijayan goes further.

In the article, Vijayan takes an in-depth look at the World Privacy Forum’s recent report and highlights some of the bigger issues like concerns about data privacy, security, and confidentiality. Specific issues discussed include dealing with privacy regulations, data-disclosure terms and conditions, legal protections, issues relating to the host’s geographic location, and allowing more ready access to data to government agencies as well as parties involved in legal disputes. If Myerson’s article is a must read as an introduction to the topic, then Vijayan’s article is a must read for the concerns around privacy issues.

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