This week’s episode of C-SPAN’s The Communicators explored “The Future of Cloud Computing.” Microsoft’s Senior VP and General Counsel Brad Smith discussed how cloud computing is advancing and how the government needs to clarify laws to deal with this upcoming and ever-evolving technology.
“Cloud computing” refers to services offered that allow storage of various files, e-mail, etc. on servers owned by third-party companies. By using these services users can access their information from any device with internet access, like a PC or smart phone.
The government’s involvement is a must in multiple ways, dealing with how the privacy of your information stored on the cloud is concerned as well as how the government itself can take advantage of the cloud.
The interview was recorded a few weeks ago, but even more questions were raised this past week when Google launched their new Buzz service, which is directly integrated into Gmail accounts. This integration lead to some concerns being raised with the privacy Google is allotting their users.
I have used Microsoft’s Office Live service for a few months and love the ease of access it allows to files. Certainly a flash drive can do the same, but they can be costly, not to mention misplaced. Gmail’s large amount of storage space also eliminates the need to ever delete a message. It may seem ridiculous to have over 1000 messages in my inbox, but you never know when you’ll think, “I wish I still had that… oh, I do.”
Storing pictures on Flickr or even Facebook also reduce the chance that you will accidently lose something that you will want to look back on someday.
Originally published on February 14, 2010.