User Awareness and Policy Compliance of Data Privacy in Cloud Computing

Quah, A.M.Y. and Rohm, U.

    Cloud computing is promising many technical benefits such as enhanced scalability, computing elasticity, and cost efficiency. However, with the benefits of cloud-based, hosted software platforms also comes the responsibility to data privacy. This paper investigates the data privacy issues brought about by cloud computing from an Australian perspective with specific focus on two aspects: How does cloud computing affect organisations' compliance to Australian privacy and data protection regulations? And to what extent are end-users aware of how cloud computing technologies affect their privacy? We present the results of an online survey among cloud computing users and contrast these with the technological possibilities and the cloud provider positions. According to this survey, almost half of the end-users were unaware that they are in fact using one or more cloud services themselves already today. At the same time, the overwhelming majority of the participants (more than 90%) agreed that companies need to inform customers if they store and process personal customer information in the cloud. Cloud computing is playing an important role in the future of IT but the technology's privacy risks and the apparent user-unawareness necessitates the push for greater transparency of the technology.
Cite as: Quah, A.M.Y. and Rohm, U. (2013). User Awareness and Policy Compliance of Data Privacy in Cloud Computing. In Proc. The Web 2013 (AWC 2013) Adelaide, Australia. CRPIT, 144. Ashman, H., Sheng, Q.Z. and Trotman, A. Eds., ACS. 3-12
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