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Who owns your Cloud content? You, or your Cloud provider?

01 May

Before you go answering the headline, let me share arguments on both sides of this issue. Here’s a relevant excerpt from Google’s privacy policy: “When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content.” Both you, and your cloud provider, own your data. Here’s why I feel that way…

You own your data. If you store e-mail, MS Word documents or MS Excel spreadsheets in the Cloud, you can move them. You may lose faith in your vendor, hire another vendor and migrate your data to the new vendor. Moving the Word and Excel data will be easier than migrating e-mail and changing the e-mail traffic. Therefore, you should hire a professional for Cloud migrations. Regardless, you can switch Cloud hosts. That supports the argument that you own your Cloud data.

The Cloud provider owns your data. Based on the Google privacy policy above, they are so close to bona fide ownership and enjoy so many benefits of ownership that they, for all practical purposes, own your Cloud data. They can use it as they seem fit. They can move it from servers in Oregon to California and vice-versa. If they go out of business, their servers and your data would probably become available. While I do not foresee Google going out of business, some of the other Cloud providers do not have the revenue stream and prosperity of Google.

Disclosure: you have to be careful when choosing your Cloud provider. The Cloud providers I resell are profitable companies in the US. One is privately owned and located in Boston. The other is located in Houston, is traded on NYSE and has 46 of the Fortune 100 as clients. I can provide more info and SAS/70 audits on request. I am responding to Michelle Maltais’ article at http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/technology/la-fi-tech-savvy-cloud-services-20120426,0,1976447.story.

***

Mark Anthony Germanos is the President of Cameron Park Computer Services, a premier Sacramento IT solutions provider. The Cloud is among the best IT solutions we’ve ever offered,” says Germanos, “when we move clients to the Cloud, everything works, it works right and you don’t have to think about it at midnight.” Running your business in the Cloud makes your life easier. Apps and data you run in the Cloud are safe and secure. You get enterprise-level security in the Cloud. You save money in the Cloud. See http://www.cameronparkcomputer.com/you_will_save_money_with_the_cloud.html for the math and to learn how the Cloud can work for you. Mark is available at 530-677-8864 and at www.wewillfixyour.biz.

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