Privacy in the Cloud: Facebook & Google

Facebook and Google have taken quite a bit of heat lately regarding their privacy policies. In essence, they’ve taken an opt-out approach to privacy. Put another way, they make the decision for the user to share information then allow the user to opt-out. That may work for many new features or options. With privacy, the option is a bit more sensitive. While some may be ok with sharing information widely on the Internet, most appear to chide at the concept.

With the opt-out approach, it seemed like users needed to recheck privacy settings every couple of days because of a new feature or change to Facebook’s privacy changes.

A better approach would be to use an opt-in approach to privacy. That is, by default, nothing is shared unless you (as the user) opt to share it.

This leads to a larger issue with storing data in the cloud. Whether personal or corporate data, it needs to be protected by default. How it is protected depends on a variety of factors. But let’s hope that as new cloud providers enter the market they take the opt-in approach to sharing of information.

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