With the release of Apple and Google's cloud music services, and the increasing prevalence of cloud-based file storage services like Dropbox, cloud computing looks to be the next digital revolution. Cloud computing is poised to become a dominant trend both in private and public life: Under the suggestion of the Federal CIO Council, the federal government has even begun transitioning to cloud computing, making security issues surrounding cloud computing all the more imperative.
In many ways, cloud computing serves as a great equalizer in the computing world. The cloud takes the place of private servers and promotes innovation by granting average users access to more computing power than they otherwise would have. Additionally, the cloud can facilitate collaboration through its creation of a shared digital space. In short, cloud computing enables scalability, cuts IT costs and eliminates redundancies for all types of organizations.
However, cloud computing is not without its risks. Indeed, Fourth Amendment rights that protect data on personal machines do not necessarily extend to data on the cloud. Furthermore, cloud servers could be spread out across several different countries the data-governing laws of which may not necessarily be compatible. On the issues of data security and privacy, the centralization of vast quantities of data is an inherent security risk--for a cloud-based digital infrastructure, damage to cloud servers would have widespread, potentially disastrous effects.
In the face of cloud computing's rising popularity and the numerous issues it engages, we must carefully consider and discuss its benefits and risks in order to help shape a safe and efficient digital future.