Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Microsoft’s 'Cloud Computing Advancement Act'

I took the time on my flight to New York City to review Microsoft’s call for a “Cloud Computing Advancement Act”. Microsoft’s senior vice-president and general counsel Brad Smith spoke about this at the Brookings Institute last week. You can read Mr. Smith’s speech (PDF) by clicking on the link in the previous sentence. Smith focuses on a number of key areas in this speech: privacy, security and international sovereignty.

While Smith focuses on the U.S. Bill of Rights and the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution he pretty much summarizes my concerns with this statement:
…one obvious attribute of the cloud is that information typically is stored on a server computer that is controlled by a third party. This makes it all the more important for service providers to be thoughtful and clear in deciding and communicating what they will do with this information.
How true! I think many of us take for granted that the information we store in the cloud is private. I use a cloud-based backup service that provides an offline (from my PC) backup of all information on my laptop. I never read their privacy policy. Maybe it's time for me to do that but wouldn't it be nice if we knew that there was a minimal privacy baseline imposed by the government? Is it time for a set of "Miranda Rights" for our cloud-based data?

No comments: