Privacy and Legal Issues in Cloud Computing

Privacy and Legal Issues in Cloud Computing

Elgar Law, Technology and Society series

Edited by Anne S.Y. Cheung and Rolf H. Weber

Adopting a multi-disciplinary and comparative approach, this book focuses on emerging and innovative attempts to tackle privacy and legal issues in cloud computing, such as personal data privacy, security and intellectual property protection. Leading international academics and practitioners in the fields of law and computer science examine the specific legal implications of cloud computing pertaining to jurisdiction, biomedical practice and information ownership. This collection offers original and critical responses to the rising challenges posed by cloud computing.

Chapter 1: Introduction to cloud computing and security issues

Joe Kong, Xiaoxi Fan and K.P. Chow

Subjects: asian studies, asian law, law - academic, information and media law, intellectual property law, internet and technology law, law and society, regulation and governance, politics and public policy, public policy, regulation and governance


The evolution of the Internet and the widespread adoption of virtualization technology have brought cloud computing to the forefront of innovation in the early 21st century, a circumstance in which computation has become per-use service-based. Cloud users can now process data and utilize storage platforms through high bandwidth networks at low cost and high efficiency. At its most basic and general level, cloud computing technology refers to the delivery of information technology resources as a service to multiple customers through the Internet: a process whereby software, shared resources and information are held on remote servers designed and established by the respective network or infrastructure operator. Consequently, the handling of this data is under the control of service providers, and this is known as ‘the cloud’. In other words, cloud computing enables information to be accessible anywhere to anyone with an Internet connection. The centralization of computing infrastructure and the change in the global computing landscape have allowed individual users and business enterprises to perform their activities round-the-clock with the advantage of device and location independence. Many of us who are using webmail, social networking services, web conferencing and online music services may already be in the cloud. At the same time, the use of cloud computing in the business community has begun to expand because cloud computing supports scalable and virtualized computer-related resources using the Internet.