Privacy in the cloud is one of the hottest topics on today's IT scene as well as a huge impediment to successful implementation of the corporate cloud strategies. Were there not so many cloud privacy concerns in the global business world, cloud technologies would undoubtedly become pretty mainstream these days.
And don't forget that security and privacy are not the same thing - privacy is often an afterthought, while security is never implied, but is built and architected together with a chosen provider. Gartner pundits say if you address public cloud privacy upfront, you'll be able to get rid of many headaches in the future.
Remember - if your provider and you are not on the same page with every single cloud privacy standard - you're at risk of not only failing to implement your cloud strategy, but to dramatically harm your business reputation. And the latter usually equals a far more serious damage and significant financial losses.
Based on what Gartner recommends, these are three very important questions you should ask your potential cloud provider at the evaluation stage:
1) How will our data be stored, for how long and how will it be transmitted?
2) Will you ever access our data? If yes, in what circumstances and how will you access them?
3) What's your policy regarding requests from law enforcers to access our data? If for any reason police will ask you to share our corporate data, how will you handle such requests?
And, by the way, Gartner suggests you don't think of a single cloud provider strategy, but, instead, consider using several providers to spread the possible privacy risks across them.
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Source: Gartner Catalyst Conference 2013