TED Conversations

Amir Azizi Sarajy

Film maker, Timescratch

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iCloud and Cloud disks, our personal data on the web, benefits and consequences ?

In Feb 2009 Tim Burners Lee talked about sharing our documents over the web, and he was referring to Hans Rosling's talk about the need for our raw data on the web for research and a better world.

Amazon started Cloud Disk, Apple started iCloud, while Drop Box and Google Docs were already available .

What do you think about putting your personal data on the web? What are the consequences? Will it be used just for research? or will 1984's Big Brother be looking at us?

How much do you trust it? What are your concerns? What are the best benefits and worst consequences of it?


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    Nov 9 2011: The issue of the cloud (the marketing term that encompasses a mass of different technical and commercial models) to large degree simply draws attention to an issue that already existed. As consumers we've all been using the internet and sharing data for a good long while. Enterprises have been degrading their perimeters and sharing information, or using 3rd parties for a long time but the issue has not been as explicitly recognised as it is now. Broadly, data being more accessible helps to create greater value through it's application or adaption but this is in direct conflict with the privacy and security issues of greater openness. There are a myriad of different use cases in here ranging from the movement of private data to storage providers to complex mashups of multiple third parties accessing and transforming your data - in this model even identifying whom is responsible for your data and it's security becomes immensely challenging. This dynamism of data movement is also directly in conflict with many of the preconceptions of and existing legal frameworks to protect consumers.

    The key point is that the cloud is a question of if, not a question of when. Different use cases will migrate and evolve at different times - some already have and moved a long time ago, others will take time to mature or require more ubiquitous connectivity. We have to shift our thinking to a model of perimeter or geographic location based security to one that considers the data to be the perimeter, we need a technology and process model that enables us to pragmatically protect data wherever it flows. This includes lots of new device types like the iPad as well as cloud storage solutions. I am a significant user of cloud services, but I validate they are contractually and legally obliged to behave responsibly AND I assume they will screw it up, encrypting my data so that if they lose it it can't be accessed. The issue is more complex, but a start for 10.
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      Nov 9 2011: I am concerned about that as well, I think someday they gonna mess it up, but about the consequences of that I am not so optimistic.

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