For many of us the move to the cloud has been slowed by the fear of the unknown and the feeling that there is a certain loss of control. It is easier to feel you are in control if you can see and touch the assets you have and are the gatekeeper of your own information.
More and more of the answers to our needs are being delivered in and through the cloud. For us to take these up the providers need to ensure that we trust them. Ever since the revelations by Edward Snowden people aren't so confident that they know who is looking.
While I very much doubt that anything I do is going to be of interest to NZ's government let alone the US government I would be concerned if there was access to info about me that I never found out about. I understand that there is a need, in limited circumstances, to keep surveillance confidential as the very knowledge that you are being watched may undermine the reason for watching. But the number of times that this arises must be rare.
I would feel a little more comfortable if there were greater transparency about the number of times information was accessed, the number of times this was done without notifying the affected individual, the general reasons for this and whether these proved valid. With information like this the public will very quickly get to understand whether the balance of security and privacy is right.
It is great to see the technology companies fighting our corner in relation to transparency - with things the way they are right now we can't really do it without them as often we won't know what access is occurring. But is now the time to start asking for the transparency and taking a degree of control ourselves?
Dozens of allies threw their weight behind Microsoft on Friday in a case that challenges law enforcement’s use of secrecy orders to cloak its pursuit of digital communications in investigations. ... Technology companies are concerned that secrecy orders are especially troubling in the era of cloud computing. “In contrast to a search of a home or a seizure of physical property, there may be no way for a user to detect that the provider has disclosed information stored in the account to the government,” the brief filed by Amazon, Google and others said.