A4Cloud - Accountability for Cloud and Other Future Internet Services

What user need or pain point is your project addressing?

Cloud services allow enterprises to outsource non-core aspects of their business to third parties. The complexity of the service provision eco-system may not be visible to an individual or business end user. However, it should ideally be possible to hold each provider accountable for how it manages, uses, and passes on data and other related information. As such, cloud service users may hand over valuable and sensitive information to cloud service providers without knowing what they are committing to or understanding of the risks, no control over what the service does with the data, no knowledge of the potential consequences, and no means for redress in the event of a problem.

Within this context, A4Cloud addresses the risks arising for individual cloud service users when their personal data are being proliferated in the cloud. New data protection regulations are imminent and they will provide individual users of online services with greater protection. Such risks are also applicable for businesses, which make use of cloud services to process personal or proprietary data. A4Cloud delivers the tools and mechanisms for users to hold service providers accountable for how data is used in the cloud. The lasting impact will be to fundamentally shift the balance of power in the relationship between providers and users of cloud services.

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How will your solution/service benefit the end-user?

A4Cloud focuses on the Accountability for Cloud and Other Future Internet Services as the most critical prerequisite for effective governance and control of corporate and private data processed by cloud-based IT services. The research being conducted in the project increases trust in cloud computing by devising methods and tools, through which cloud stakeholders can be made accountable for the privacy and confidentiality of information held in the cloud. These methods and tools combine risk analysis, policy enforcement, monitoring and compliance auditing. They contribute to the governance of cloud activities, providing transparency and assisting legal, regulatory and socio-economic policy enforcement.

The adoption of A4Cloud will give help end-users gain real benefit from new services which make use of personal or confidential data. It will give end-users better control over the use of data in the cloud.  Data protection legislation addresses the needs of individual end users as data subjects in terms of privacy and protection online and creates obligations for service providers. Implementing accountability-based approaches for data use in the cloud puts the user in control of that data. The envisaged results will create a shift towards individual users actively exercising control over their digital presence in the cloud.


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Website:   www.a4cloud.eu