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Who Owns the Data You Move to the Cloud?

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Yesterday, I had an opportunity to attend a panel discussion that was discussing mobility. While most of the conversation revolved around mobile devices, the conversation naturally turned to cloud computing.

One of the questions from the audience had to do with determining if it was appropriate to move to the cloud. I was amazed that the first comment from the panel included a very emphatic statement that if you move data to the cloud, you no longer own it and that you have to understand that is true.

While it is true that photos and other information you post to Facebook can be controlled by Facebook, and that your online shopping and browsing habits determine the ads you see and can lead to an influx of targeted email, it is a huge leap to suggest that data that a business might move to the cloud is not longer owned by the business.

I have spent the last six months researching cloud computing solutions that are currently available as business solutions. I am not aware of any solution where the data would become the property of the cloud provider. I am not even aware of any solutions where the provider has access to the data in any usable form. A business certainly isn't going to store its data on a service like Facebook!

If you are considering moving your business to the cloud, make sure you are discussing your business goals and needs with someone who has researched the options thoroughly and can answer all of your questions to your complete satisfaction.

 

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