I am a big fan of cloud computing and I use it for several tasks. All of my email is "in the cloud" as are my finances, income taxes, online banking, my genealogy database, my personal calendar, and some of my word processing for articles to be published later in this newsletter. You can read my earlier Computing in the Clouds article at http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2009/03/computing-in-the-clouds.html and Why Cloud Computing Makes Sense for Genealogy article at http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2009/07/why-cloud-computing-makes-sense-for-genealogy.html.
While I continue to be a big fan of cloud computing, I will also be the first to tell you that all is not perfect with this new technology. Cloud computing could have security issues. I believe the risk is small and manageable, but security issues certainly should not be ignored. For instance, my more sensitive financial data is always encrypted before it is stored in the cloud.
Ars Techina has a nice article about the FTC's concern that consumers don't understand the implications of storing their data in the cloud. From the article:
"Data is now sitting on servers outside of your control, where it can be accessed far more easily by Google itself, hackers, and law enforcement than it ever could if kept within the device. Once data passes over the network, it gets much easier to access in realtime; once it is stored on a remote server, it gets much easier to access at any time. And those are just the phone settings. Google also has access to search history data, anything stored in Google Docs or Spreadsheets, complete schedules stored in Google Calendar, and recent Maps searches. Combine them all, and companies like Google become one-stop shops for authorities looking for personal information."