Yesterday I was honoured to have an opportunity to speak briefly at the Privacy Commissioner's Privacy Forum, titled "Think Big? Privacy in the age of big data".
A question was put to a panel by Vikram Kumar from InternetNZ as follows: “There are many real privacy risks in relation to cloud services. There also many misconceptions. What do you think is the single greatest risk and the single biggest misconception?”
Cloud services can give rise to privacy issues, but perhaps the biggest misconception is that privacy issues arise because a service is deployed in a cloud.
People need to make decisions about which services to trust. This means weighing up the characteristics of a given provider and service against what is relevant and important to them, or to their organisation. To approach decisions in a principled way, it is critical not to over-simplify. We need to understand the true sources of potential issues.