Cloud Computing Privacy
Concerns on our Doorstep
CLoUD ComPUtING meaNS en- trusting data to information systems that are managed by external parties on re- mote servers “in the cloud.”
Webmail and online documents (such
as Google Docs) are well-known examples. Cloud computing raises privacy
and confidentiality concerns because
the service provider necessarily has access to all the data, and could accidentally or deliberately disclose it or use it
for unauthorized purposes.
Conference management systems
based on cloud computing represent
an example of these problems within
the academic research community. It
is an interesting example, because it is
small and specific, making it easier to
explore the exact nature of the privacy
problem and to think about solutions.
This column describes the problem,
highlights some of the possible undesirable consequences, and points out
directions for addressing it.
conference management systems
Most academic conferences are managed using software that allows the
program committee (PC) members to
browse papers and contribute reviews
and discussion via the Web. In one
arrangement, the conference chair
downloads and hosts the appropriate
server software, say HotCRP or iChair.
The benefits of using such software are
˲ ˲ Distribution of papers to PC mem-
bers is automated, and can take into
account their preferences and conflicts