Towards a European Cloud Computing Strategy

Cloud computing represents a paradigm shift away from today’s decentralised IT systems. It is already transforming providers of IT services and it will change the way other industrial sectors provision their IT needs as end users, as well the way citizens interact with their computer and their mobile devices. Cloud computing, although in its early days, is already a commercial reality and the adoption rate of cloud computing services is growing.
 
The EU needs to become not only cloud friendly but cloud active to fully realise the benefits of cloud computing. Besides allowing for the provision of cloud computing in its various forms, the relevant environment in the EU has to address the needs of the end users and protect the right of citizens. At the same time, it should allow for the development of a strong industry in this sector of Europe.

iCloud Insecurity

Security is — or at least should be — a concern of everyone roaming the Internet. It is one thing to have to protect oneself from malicious hackers, dishonest merchants, and, sometimes, one’s own naivité. What we shouldn’t have to do, however, is protect ourselves from those who maintain they are providing services in our own best interests. Yesterday an article appeared in 20 Minutes Online that reveals just how insecure Apple’s iCloud is.
According to Apple’s terms and conditions, they can not only look at your data, they can also use it in ways other than you intended and they even demand the right to pass this data on to third-parties without your knowledge. This is bad enough for private users, but think about all the unwitting business people who due to lack of organizational resources perhaps (for example, small or medium-sized businesses who have to rely on commercially available services for inter-connectivity) have decided to use this technology to make themselves more effective in our increasingly global world. These conditions are reason enough to avoid Apple at any rate. Of course, to be fair, Google isn’t any better.
There are deeply rooted data-protection issues that need to be addressed, not just at the organizational, but more vigorously at the political level. The Internet can be an exciting, helpful, and effective tool, for everyone, but not as long as some folks think they deserve more rights than others.