In the end Over the decade we have seen massive changes in how we consume and interact with our world. The Yellow Page is a concept which, in our age, has to be carefully explained with an ineffectual derision. We live within our app, within our smartphones.
When we thrive with the information of the world at our fingertips, we carelessly throw away any piece of privacy in exchange for the convenience of this world.
This line has been drawn by us big tech companies with carelessness and reckoning over the years, because of what we have come up with in demand for app makers, big technology companies and app stores.
Our personal data in the cloud
According to Symantec, 89% of our Android apps and 39% of our iOS apps require access to private information. This risky use sends our data to cloud servers, both enhancing application performance (think about the data needed for fitness apps) and store data for ad demographics.
Although big data companies would argue that data is not held for long, or used in a nefarious way, when we use applications on our phones, we create an undeniable data trail. Companies typically keep data on the move, and servers around the world are constantly flowing data away from their source.
Once we accept the terms and conditions that we hardly read, our personal data is no longer like this. It is in the cloud, a term that has maintained solid understanding throughout the years.
The differences between cloud-based applications and cloud computing must be addressed. Cloud computing at an enterprise level, while argued against over the years, is generally considered a safe and cost-effective option for many businesses.
Also in 2010, Microsoft stated that 70% of its team was working on cloud-based or cloud-inspired things, and the company estimated that this number would increase to 90% within a year. Before we started relying on the cloud to store our personal, private data.
Cloudy with confusion
To add complexity to this problem, there are literally apps on your smart phone to protect your privacy from other apps. Tearing more flesh from the privacy bone, these apps themselves require a level of accessibility that would typically raise eyebrows if it were any other category of apps.
Consider the scenario where you use a key to encrypt data, but then you have to encrypt that key to make it secure. Finally, you end up with the most important key not being encrypted. There is no win or lose here. Only a middle ground of satisfaction is being found in which your app purchases as much in your personal data as your doctor finds in your medical history.
Cloud is not tangible, nor is it something that we can pass on to divers of data. Each company has its own cloud server, each collects the same data. But we have to consider why we omit this data. What are we getting in return? We have been given access to applications that probably make our lives easier or better, but are essentially a service. It is this service end of the transaction that needs to be changed.
App developers have to find a way of service delivery that does not require the storage of personal data. There are two aspects to this. The first is creating algorithms that can operate on a local basis, rather than being centralized and mixed with other data sets. The second is a change in the general attitude of the industry, one of which provides free services for the cost of your personal data (which is ultimately used to promote marketing opportunities).
Of course, asking any big data company that its data collection and marketing process thrives on instability. So the change has to come from new companies, which are ready to risk offering cloud privacy while still providing a payable service. Because it will not be free. It cannot be free, because what we have got in this situation is the same as before.
Clearing the clouds of future privacy
What we can do right now is at least a step of personal vigilance. While there is some personal data that we cannot stop the flow to cloud servers worldwide, we can at least limit the use of trivial apps that collect too much data. For example, games should not need access to our contacts, our cameras, etc. Everything within our phone is connected, which is why Facebook seems to know everything about us, below what is in our bank account.
This sharing happens at our phone and cloud level, and is something we need to consider when accepting the terms of the new app. When we sign in to the application with our social accounts, we are helping further collection of our data.
The cloud here is not some almighty enemy, but it is an excuse and tool that allows for a large collection of our personal data.
The future possibility is one in which devices and applications eventually become self-sufficient and localized, allowing users to take control of their data. We will change the way we access apps and data in the cloud, as we will demand a functional process that will make a functioning change in service provisions. The cloud will be retrofitted to public data storage, leaving our private data at our disposal where it occurs. For this change, we have to collectively emphasize, lest we lose privacy in the data we have left.