Cloud computing offers greater flexibility, speed, and convenience, but some businesses were hesitating to take advantage of the technology due to fears of increasing vulnerability to cyberattacks.

But a recent study reveals a marked increase in moving sensitive data to the cloud as a result of increased confidence in security – and despite continuing struggles to monitor and manage the data once it’s there.

In a post on the Dark Reading blog, Kelly Sheridan reports that fewer than 25 percent of businesses had their applications, data, and infrastructure in the cloud two years ago, but that 44 percent are cloud-based today, and 65 percent are expected to be two years from now.

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Copyright: hywards / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: hywards / 123RF Stock Photo

France’s data protection regulator – the  Commission Nationale de L’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) – ordered Alphabet Inc.’s Google in 2015 to comply with the right to be forgotten.

If the ruling is upheld, the approach to personal privacy threatens the equal and competing legitimate freedom of expression and access to information rights of businesses and consumers outside the European Union.

Scott L. Vernick and Jessica Kitain recently authored the Bloomberg BNA Privacy and Security Law Report article “The Right To Be Forgotten – Protection or Hegemony?” We invite you to read the full article.

Reproduced with permission from Privacy and Security Law Report, 15 PVLR 1253, 6/20/2016. Copyright © 2016 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800.372.1033)

Much ado has been made in recent weeks about the FTC’s Do Not Track proposal, the push from Congress to protect consumers, and the response from Google, Microsoft and Mozilla, as well as the online ad industry, about the risks and rewards of self-regulation. But what has seemed to be missing from the debate is the public’s own outcry. Amidst the churning discussions there has not been a sense that the general online population is overly concerned about whether an advertiser can track their preferences… at least until the information they share leads to a distinct invasion of privacy with repercussions.

All in all, this debate remains self-contained, and raises more questions than it answers.

From the political front, the Congressional proposals present an issue that is easy to support. Who is “against” privacy? Perhaps the same people who want to bring down apple pie and stop Veterans Day parade…

Technology executives and startups being buffeted about by the concern of over impending government regulation, agreeing on a self-implemented system, and monetizing so -called "privacy assets" for those opting to share more. But how much of the genie is already out of the bottle? Is it possible to truly claw back or sanitize people’s data that is already out there?

There is certainly cause for public concern, though it seems that is not the case until an actual situation occurs. If a website, social forum or third party advertiser holding your personal information is hacked or breached, the potential invasion of privacy on personal preferences could be huge. Finances, sexual preference, and many items that could lead to identity theft are all put at risk. Yet we continue to "like" and "share" and post pictures because living online has become an extension to daily life.

Is this public acceptance? Maybe we won’t know until there is a problem that draws attention on a national scale. The public has control over their own activity online, and the amount of information they wish to share.

If the public is truly concerned about online privacy, it is a matter of self-regulation on a personal level. In the meantime, the government and the industry will continue to swirl in a cycle that perhaps will only end with a set of regulations and authorizations that create more unenforceable layers than there were before. Data thieves will always find ways to game the system, there will always be a risk when sharing personal information online, and advertising will not stop being the fuel that runs much of the internet.

A video of an autistic boy being harassed by bullies is posted to a service offered by Google in Italy. Google is informed of the availability and content of the video. Google removes the video within two (2) hours of being informed. Did Google react appropriately?

Those familiar with US privacy laws know that there is little about which Google should be concerned. Those familiar with European Union (EU) privacy laws generally conclude that Google is protected by the safe harbor under Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2000 on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce, in the Internal Market. Those unfamiliar with EU privacy laws probably conclude that Google did the right thing, acted swiftly and should not be responsible for material posted by third parties about which Google is not aware.

Google is guilty of violation of Italian privacy laws, says an Italian court. The Italian court held three (3) Google executives criminally liable for making the bully video available. Yeah, seriously, convicted in absentia for violation of privacy (but cleared of defamation charges), Google’s Chief Legal Officer, Chief Privacy Counsel and a former Chief Financial Officer were sentenced to six-month suspended sentences. (I understand that for most convictions of less than two years, sentences are generally suspended if there are no prior convictions.)

Continue Reading With Conviction of Google Executives for Invasion of Privacy, Companies Need to Consider Risks of Social Media Services in the European Union