Privacy is in the media spotlight and gaining momentum in the public eye. Concerns range from government surveillance, identity fraud, social bullying, and simply keeping personal images, videos, and data secure. Many of our most treasured and popular online services have adopted a diversified cloud model which infrastructure can span national borders and leverage sub-contracting vendors to provide cutting-edge experiences and performance. Internet email, social sites, video sharing, and blogging take advantages of the strengths of international cloud networks. But in doing so, they might be unintentionally exposing user’s data to risks which are becoming unacceptable to customers.
In response to these concerns, at least one big communications company has announced steps to protect email accounts and communication. Deutsche Telekom announced an initiative to keep domestic emails on servers residing within the borders of Germany, with the intent of protecting the privacy of German citizens.
Will other service providers follow suit? I believe yes.
In my opinion, we are at a turning point. Privacy has always been a concern, but lacked the social and political support to gain meaningful worldwide traction. Times are changing. With the rise in news stories and malicious threats, the general public is taking notice. More importantly, people are talking about online privacy and in doing so formulating expectations. This is the first step in the direction of profound change.
Service providers will adapt to meet their customers’ demands and desires. Look for more cloud services with national boundaries, more encryption of data in both transit and storage, multi-factor authentication, and more transparency when data is shared or lost. Momentum is building for change.