1 s Ask a Broadband Expert Series: Is Privacy a Cloud Illusion? By Rick Stiles, VP of Product Development StoAmigo North Point Parkway, Suite 25 Alpharetta, GA ZCorum.com TruVizion.com Facebook.ZCorum.com Twitter.com/ZCorum
2 What is the Cloud? With all the recent headlines and revelations about privacy and security of the cloud, users are becoming more and more concerned about what s happening to their files and who really has access to them. We wanted to share some important facts about the cloud that you may not be aware of. But first, let s define The Cloud. In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer s hard drive. This would obviously include cloud storage providers, but what some people don t realize is that the Cloud also includes service providers, photo and video sharing sites, and social media sites. With that in mind, here are five things you need to know about the Cloud:. Multiple copies are created in the Cloud Have you ever thought about the number of copies created for everything you put in the Cloud? Let s start with something as simple as sending an attachment. Most people tend to think they attach a file to an , send it to someone and that person opens it. However, there s much more to it. First, that file is in a folder on your computer. When you attach it to an , a copy is made in your program. Another copy is stored online by your service. They also make a backup copy. Then it goes to the inbox of the recipient and one or two copies are stored online before it is opened in the recipient s program, which makes another copy. If the recipient decides to keep it, he will save it somewhere on his computer. That s seven or eight copies right there. If he sends it to other people, the whole process gets repeated. The bottom line is there s no way for you to control the number of copies created, or how and where they are circulated. 2. Storing files on the Cloud may not be as private as you think Another often overlooked fact about the Cloud lies in the privacy policies of the cloud providers. Some services are more liberal than others about using and sharing your information. The privacy policies were not created to protect the users; these policies were created to protect the cloud providers. Many of the policies and terms-of-use conditions grant the cloud providers a broad license as to their usage and control over your media. Some even state that you are giving them exclusive rights to your files when you put your files on their systems. Here is a quote from the Terms of Service of a popular social media site: You hereby grant us and our contractors the right to use, modify, adapt, reproduce, distribute, display and disclose content posted on this service solely to the extent necessary to provide the service or as otherwise permitted by these terms. If you haven t read the privacy policies and Terms of Service of your cloud storage provider or favorite social media sites, you may be giving away copies of your files without knowing it.
5 4 Biography Richard J. Stiles VP Product Development, StoAmigo Rick Stiles has over 30 years of experience in broadband communications and has held several seniorlevel leadership positions with telecommunications companies throughout his career. Rick has also been named in multiple U.S. patents and has been instrumental in the successful development and implementation of a wide variety of products that are currently being deployed by leading telecommunications service providers throughout the United States. About ZCorum ZCorum provides broadband Internet and communication solutions to telcos, cable companies, utilities, and municipalities, assisting in all facets of broadband implementation, integration, engineering and consulting, broadband usage management, network monitoring and diagnostics. ZCorum also offers wholesale, private-labeled Internet services, including data and VoIP provisioning, , Web hosting, and 24x7 support for end-users, enabling service providers to compete effectively in their local rural and suburban markets. ZCorum is headquartered in Alpharetta, GA. For more information, please visit 4