“Arguing that you don’t care about privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say”. E. Snowden.
This sentence was pronounced by Edward Snowden and, as others viral sentences, is continuously circulating through the different social networks. In fact, probably we have all heard this many times: “I have nothing to hide” or the other version: “My information is not important, who is going to want it?”
I have always thought that people who say this kind of things are completely unaware about what privacy means.
Privacy is important for a number of reasons. Some have to do with the consequences of not having privacy: People can be harmed or debilitated if everybody can access to and use their personal information. The Celebgate, a hacker’s invasion of dozens of celebrity iCloud accounts, leading to the embarrassing leaking of nude photos, is the best known case because it affected to famous people. But there are everyday cases of anonymous people affected around the world because their personal and private information is in the wrong hands. Articles about the risk of expose our children to social networks are spreading out in the internet and it is important to remember that our children will grow into teenagers and adults who want to control their digital identities.
Other reasons why privacy is important are more fundamental, touching the essence of human personhood. Reverence for the human person requires respect for personal privacy. To lose control of one’s personal information is in some measure to lose control of one’s life and one’s dignity.
Therefore, even if privacy is not in itself a fundamental right, it is necessary to protect other fundamental rights.
Having this clear, what can we do to protect our privacy?
Before, all our information was available on paper. Everybody ensured that these papers were kept well locked and only accessible to approved people.
20 years ago I would say that everybody had one of this lockbox to store, for example, its love letters. And everybody knew that the most important thing of this security system was the key. Who had the key, had the control of the information. If, for example, your brother or sister stool your key… what a terrible situation! Your love letters became compromised forever in your siblings’ hands!
But we don´t have papers now. Nowadays, all these data are handled in digital form and life has become a giant collection of digital files.
This ever-increasing amount of digital information is your history, your memories, your life. That is the thing: your history, your memories and your life.
And if we speak of business, Information is vital. In fact, often it is the most valuable asset of any enterprise.
Think about the amount of crucial data that is handled in a professional environment: information about customers, employees and personal data, projects and Industrial property, business strategies and action plans, etc.
So, the questions are:
Where do we store it? How do we keep it safe?
Some users invest in larger hard drives for their servers, others use external storage devices like thumb drives or compact discs, and some users, in desperation, may even delete whole folders to make space for new information. But the fact is we can’t count only on our hardware devices because they break, get stolen, or we lose them.
To solve this, a new trend has taken the market by storm, offering massive storage of data at a low cost or sometimes for free. It is called ‘cloud storage’, and it is here to stay.
Cloud storage means that your data is kept in a remote database maintained by a third party, instead of on your computer’s hard drive or other local storage infrastructure.
In order to minimize risk, cloud storage systems usually rely on hundreds of data servers, storing client information on multiple machines at once. This is called redundancy.
Most cloud provider systems store client data on multiple servers that use different power supplies, network connections, cooling services, etc. This is called fault tolerance, since it ensures that data remains intact even in the case of failure of one server.
It is this feature that makes cloud storage unique from any other traditional digital office solution. It ensures that our data will be available.
That sounds perfect, isn´t that?
But is there anything to fear? Of course there is! Our data are out there.
There is always the possibility that a hacker will find a back door and access your data in the cloud; a disgruntled employee can alter or destroy company information, other companies could pay in order to access their competitors’ industrial property and in any case, cloud storage providers will have control over the information they store.
To solve this fear, Cloud storage companies invest a great deal of money in security measures, one of the most important is encryption, a process whereby using a cryptographic key, the information became unreadable. And what is the crucial thing then? That is! Who has this key! If your cloud provider has the key, then encryption don´t protect your data.
Encryption is only useful if you and only you, control the cryptographic key.
Encryption works, but the good one is complex, and normally requires expertise to run and manage, but… good news! Now you can find solutions for everyone, for example SMiD a simple device that strongly encrypt your information before store it in any cloud. SMiD has a key that is absolutely necessary to connect the device, and that is under your control. Before we had our lockbox to safety store our papers. Now we have SMiD to safety store our files in any cloud. That´s all!
To summarize we could say:
- Cloud storage is a great solution because it ensures our information will be intact.
- It is better if we, as information owner are in charge of their security and privacy.
- Now we have good encryption solution for everyone in the market, as SMiD.