Cloud Data Ownership Policies – Who Owns the Data on a Cloud Service?

Who owns the data in cloud storage?One of the main questions people ask when considering switching to cloud services is, “Who owns the data in cloud storage?” This can be a major concern for businesses that require ultimate security. However, businesses don’t need to worry, as many cloud providers outline clear cloud data ownership policies. This ensures you keep control of your data.

Considerations for Picking The Right Cloud System

Whether you are a business or are using cloud-based data hosting for personal use, there are some key steps you can take to ensure you retain the ownership of your data:

  1. Read all the terms and conditions of each of the services you are using.
  2. Identify the storage location of your data, and how these countries manage their data regulations in comparison to your home country.
  3. All data that is moved to and from the cloud is encrypted. However, hosting services may not be compelled by law to hand over the encryption keys to your data. If that presents a problem, you can choose another provider.
  4. Back up your data to portable media and store this off site if you can. This will give you an alternative source for your data if your cloud hosting service goes out of business.
  5. Enterprises that want to use cloud-based data storage services should take legal advice before choosing a service to partner with. This will ensure that the legal framework around the stored data is clear. Examples include regulations around the US Patriot Act, or Europe’s GDPR.
  6. Check that your cloud service providers are compliant with standards such as SSAE16 and SOC2 certifications, among others. Ensure providers are subject to regular external audits and comply with best-available international standards for security, availability, integrity, privacy and confidentiality.

Common Cloud Providers Terms of Service

  • Amazon Web Services
    ‘Your Applications, Data and Content. Other than the rights and interests expressly set forth in this Agreement, and excluding Amazon Properties and works derived from Amazon Properties you reserve all right, title and interest (including all intellectual property and proprietary rights) in and to Your Content.’
  • Google
    ‘It is important that you can access your Google data when you want it, where you want it – whether is it to import it into another service or just create your own copy for your archives.’
  • Microsoft Office 365
    ‘You own your data and retain all rights, title, and interest in the data you store with Office 365. You can download a copy of all of your data at any time and for any reason, without any assistance from Microsoft.’

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