What are the effects of privacy issues on cloud computing and share services > advancement………

Background of Research project

In the recent times, cloud computing has become one among the most discussed information and communication technologies. It has caught the attention of analysts, businessmen, technologists and the media alike mostly because of the opportunities it holds. According to Dean and Saleh (2009) the biggest drivers of the information technology such as Google, Microsoft and IBM are taking position to capture the emerging market in cloud computing. Even start up and some of the unexpected players such as have showed great interest in cloud computing as well.

With the immense growing interest in cloud computing, Analysts have estimated that the business value of cloud computing enterprise may grow to about $60 to $80 billion in 2012 representing approximately ten percent of the overall global enterprise software and information technology services market. According to the Expert Group Report (2010) the growing interest in cloud computing is not only because of the increased tendency to outsource information technology services with the aim of extending existing limited information technology infrastructure but also because of the reduced barrier to entrance by new service providers. The cost advantage of cloud computing is estimated to be between three to five times for business applications and more than five times for  consumer applications. With the increased interest in cloud in cloud computing, this research intends to find out the possible security and ethical compromises that accompany cloud computing and the general the advancement of share services.



Problem statement

Since the advent of information technology systems, reliance by enterprises on shared infrastructure has been scaring to many in terms of upholding data and information integrity. This study seeks to find out how cloud computing and the advancement in share services has been affected by privacy and integrity issues raised in other information technology systems and the level of trust on cloud computing systems and how it affects the overall development and reliance on the cloud computing systems. Placing enterprise data in the cloud has been a matter of serious concern for many to many companies who have increasingly been questioning the capability of public cloud computing providers to offer the same level of security to their data and information just as their own in-house data centers. Depending on the level of abstraction, either operating system level or application level, and method of cloud computing adopted, either Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS), varied security issues arise in the public cloud computing systems.

Objectives of the study

The study endeavors to achieve the following objectives:

  1. To develop a clear understanding of the potential privacy issues of concern with cloud computing and shared services by using suitable tools and techniques.
  2. To characterize an information technology oriented service ethics through the exploration of approaches used in services management research and exploration of the service aspect of cloud computing.
  3. To demonstrate how service principle apply in cloud computing and how privacy issues affect the customer through the examination of privacy issues in service encounters and through the identification of privacy issues.
  4. To develop a testing framework for shared services and cloud computing as service practices and to understand the virtues associated with the practices.
  5. To employ methods including analyzing and categorizing privacy issues, developing case studies and observing the services practice.

Research questions

  1. How do cloud computing and shared information services work?
  2. What are the major privacy issues with cloud computing and shared information services?
  3. Why are enterprises increasingly adapting cloud computing in their business activities?
  4. What are the potential benefits of cloud computing and shared information services?
  5. Is it possible for cloud computing and shared information services to attain the same level of security as in-house data centers?
  6. Does cloud computing have the benefits it is reported to have by various players in the industry?
  7. How can security issues affecting cloud computing and shared information services be mitigated?
  8. What technologies facilitate the enforcement of security measures in cloud computing and shared information services?


Significance of the study

In general computing, issues of data security and information privacy are of major concern to organizations. Shared information services and cloud computing being new areas in the market are still taken with skepticism despite the potential gains outlined for their adoption. This study intends to reveal new information on how privacy issues affect the adoption of shared information services and cloud computing. Moreover, the study will add insight into what should be considered in terms of security and privacy concerns by people and organization adopting cloud computing and shared data services for their information storage needs.

The research will also provide a new and significant perspective to the cloud computing service providers on computing and ethics issues that they should additionally put under consideration in their delivery of service to their clients. The issues will include concerns that are hold companies back from adopting cloud computing and shared information services and the way they may approach the security and integrity issues to boost the confidence of the organizations.

Overview of methodology

Core issues for investigation

The core issues for investigation will involve security, ethics and privacy associated with cloud computing and shared information systems. According to Chow et al. (2009) security issues are the major issues that are making companies not to take advantage of cloud computing. The issue mainly concerns the security of data and information stored in the cloud (Xiong et al. 2011).

According to Zhou et al (2010) data that is located in multiple locations as is done in cloud computing complicates privacy issues. Since the data is in a public domain in the cloud, any flaw that can expose the data to external agents will expose it breaching its privacy. For instance, an employee of fell victim to phishing and leaked customer list which led to further phishing attacks in 2007 (Anthes 2010). As relates to ethics, there have been various issues raised concerning ethics in the use of cloud computing. For instance, the state bar association of California found out that the use of cloud computing could flout the codes and rules of practice if lawyers used it. They were advised to seek appropriate advice and counsel when using the technology (Mohan 2011). Timmermans (2010) explains that cloud computing shifts control from users to third party and that data collected from the cloud for a specific purpose may end up being used for other purposes. Such an issue raises ethical concerns over the adoption of cloud computing. Ethics, privacy and security measures should be taken together to make data availability more compelling (Newton 2011).

From the major concerns expressed concerning ethics, privacy and security issues associated with cloud computing, it is in order for the research to mainly focus on this main issues since they are the major reasons as to why companies and organizations are shying off from cloud computing.

Data gathering methods and sources

In gathering data, several techniques will be employed such as questionnaire survey, face to face interviews, telephone interviews, document review and triangulation. According to United Nations (2004) triangulation involves the process of performing crosschecking of information by teams with different skills, viewpoints and experience; a range of techniques and tools for data collection; and different information sources on the same problem. Triangulation will be used in the final analysis of data collected using the other sources.















Anthes, G. (2010). Security in the cloud. Communications of the ACM, Vol. 53, No. 11

Chow, R. C., Golle, P., Jakobsson, E. S., Jessica, S., Shi, E., Staddon, J., Masuoka, R. and Molina, J. (2009). Controlling data in the cloud: Outsourcing computation without outsourcing control. Fujitsu Laboratories of America

Dean, D. and Saleh, T. (2009). Capturing the value of cloud computing: how enterprises can chart their course to the next level. The Boston Consulting Group Inc

Expert Group Report (2010). The future of cloud computing opportunities for European cloud computing beyond 2010. European Commission, Information Society and Media

Mohan, P. (2011). Up in the cloud: Ethical Issues that arise in the age of cloud computing. Ethics and Professional compensation committee, vol. 8, no. 1

Newton, J. (2011). The ethics and security of cloud computing. Infrastructure technologies, ILTA White Paper

Timmermans, J. (2010). The ethics of cloud computing: A conceptual review. Critical Research in Technology, United Kingdom

United Nations (2004). Choosing methods and tools for data collection: Monitoring and evaluation guidelines. United Nations Educational, Scientific and cultural organization, Office of Evaluation, Office of evaluation

Xiong, L., Goryczka, S. and Sunderam, V. (2011). Adaptive, Secure and Scalable distributed data outsourcing: A vision paper. Emory University, San Jose, California

Zhou, M., Zhang, R., Xie, W., Qian, W. and Zhou, A. (2010). Security and privacy in cloud computing: A survey. National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Kyoto 619-0289, Japan

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