Is Privacy in the Cloud only an illusion?

Is Privacy in the Cloud only an illusion? thinks so. They published a large article today arguing that “Laws around the world allow governments free access to data in the cloud. What may come as a surprise is that Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties facilitate cooperation across international boundaries. Under these MLATs, the U.S. and EU member states allow law enforcement authorities to request data on servers of cloud providers located in any countries that are part of the MLATs.”

If you ask me, the article brings nothing new under the sun, as it is built on the conclusions of Hogan & Lovell’s White Paper published in May this year (you can also find it on this blog).

Regarding the main topic, my comment would be that your personal data in the Cloud is as secure as your personal data deposited in any other way, from a governmental access point of view. The laws that allow governments to have access to personal data on account of fighting terrorism are not especially made for the Cloud, but for all sorts of information, personal data, mere anonymized data or whatever data you could think of, stored anywhere and by whoever.

However, what complicates a bit privacy things with the Cloud is that the effort made by governments to have access to data stored there is perhaps smaller than it would be to travel to a certain address and grab a certain device which contains data.

It is also possible I am terribly wrong by not taking into account information I do not know. If you have thoughts about this, or more information, please leave a comment 🙂

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