Why Privacy In The Cloud Still Matters
The internet has been in wide practise for the past 20 years. People all around the world have accustomed themselves to internet usage in their daily lives. A report from 2017 shows that 48% of the world population uses the internet. From ordering things online, checking the weather, reading the news (goodbye paper news) to uploading their documents and files to the cloud storage. Not to mention the social media that has in some instances completely taken over the social life of individuals. It is very hard to maintain a certain level of security and privacy when you have to register an account with every online service you use. Heck, it’s hard to even remember every password you use. And yet, we should try our best to stay safe while browsing the internet or uploading the files to cloud storage. If a cloud service provider has their priorities mixed up (profit > security/privacy) there’s a chance your personal information won’t stay just yours for long. That’s why privacy in the cloud still matters.
Dangers of Poor Cloud Infrastructure
There are many dangers one might face if they go with a cloud service provider that doesn’t care about your privacy. We can divide them into two groups.
If a cloud service provider poorly protects your information and files then there’s not a lot of things stopping people to illegally obtain your information through hacking. As a reminder, Dropbox has been hacked back in 2012 which resulted in 68M emails and encrypted passwords leaked to the dark web. This was without a doubt a massive blow to Dropbox and is still referred to today every time there’s talk about security and privacy in the cloud. But unauthorised access can only happen in case of bad infrastructure. The next problem is as equally important…
Do Privacy Laws Protect You?
The short answer is: Yes and no.
It all depends on where the cloud service company is located. For example, the U.S. is infamous for its Patriot Act and the recently accepted Cloud act that was forced into legislation during the Trump administration. The first one was brought into legislation shortly after 09/11 and enables the U.S. authorities to request personal information and data from any cloud storage company that runs and is located in the U.S. The Cloud act enables that even more specifically.
As such, many people are reluctant to use Dropbox which has their servers situated in the U.S. But if you live in the U.S. it makes sense to rent cloud storage that has their servers located in the U.S. or very close to them (fast internet speeds and low ping). That’s why people have turned their eyes towards the next best thing which is North America, specifically Canada. We’ve done extensive research on Canada privacy laws and there’s no doubt about it being a great alternative to people living in the U.S. Due to the PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act) cloud storages are by law required to take care of your privacy. The PIPEDA even dictates that an employee must be present at the cloud service company to make sure all the infrastructure and privacy policies align with the PIPEDA.
Switzerland is also known around the world for its banks and measures taken in regards to privacy.
How To Ensure Privacy Yourself?
There’s a lot a person can do to tread carefully on the internet. When it comes to cloud storage there are quite a few steps you can take yourself. The most important step of them all is picking the right cloud storage that will take great care of your privacy.
You should always check where the cloud storage is located and what privacy laws apply in that country.
Some of the terms you should look for that are a great sign for cloud storage are:
- Zero-knowledge principle
- Client-side encryption
- HIPAA compliance – Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act dictates the standards that cloud storage must follow if they wish to hold sensitive patient information.
If the cloud storage doesn’t provide a sufficient level of privacy you should take matters into your own hands by encrypting files before uploading them to the cloud. But this can be a time-consuming process that makes handling with files a real hassle. The real advantage of cloud storage is not only the accessibility (which would be in this case impaired) but also the collaboration with your friends or coworkers. That is why you should search for cloud storage that has these systems integrated into the core of its infrastructure.
I’ve grown to be a fan of Sync.com when it comes to their infrastructure and the way they handle customer privacy. They have integrated and built their infrastructure around the zero-knowledge principle which makes them unique. They are also HIPAA compliant in case you’re a business owner involved with sensitive medical information. Their servers are located in Canada which makes them a very viable option alongside the very interesting pricing plans. You can read the full review of Sync.com here.
Do you have any thoughts of your own about why privacy in the cloud still matters? Let us know down below!