Privacy and Cloud Providers

If you’re a developer, how do you go about convincing your customers/clients on putting their data up on a cloud server, like S3, and tell them it is secure?

When places like Amazon and Google decide to shut down something like Parler because of terms of service violations, I know that one fall-out from that is business owners wondering if their entire business could be shut down because their cloud provider’s terms of service don’t match their own.

This isn’t so much a “Is Storj the answer?” question as it is, what convinces customers/clients to go online. Is it price? Some specific need? I’m curious what other developers have run into.

I worked for a small company for quite a while and to this day, they do not trust putting anything up on the cloud. And today I work for a big company, and they operate their own data centers in three different geographic locations, and have only recently begun to evaluate Azure for some stuff, although nothing significant.

If you’re a developer, have you run into this kind of cloud/online resistance before? Or know what made people shift to going online when they were against it preciously?

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I’ve worked with small and large companies as a consultant or as an employee of a subcontractor company in a role of a software engineer and machine learning expert. What I saw was that they mostly don’t need any convincing. They’re freely posting data that should be considered at least company secrets, if not secrets that could be used to subvert national infrastructure, to the cloud and share without checking credentials with anyone. Often just asking nicely is enough to get access to most of things.

Being shut down because of cloud policy is just a business risk that sometimes is calculated into operation costs, sometimes just an unlikely scenario not worth considering.

There used to be some resistance to the cloud some time ago, but it’s at a negligible level now, and the reasons were usually simple unfamiliarity, not security. The only exception is data that falls under GDPR or HIPAA and sometimes financial data.


Thanks Toyoo, that’s interesting. Do you find that the customer/client wants to know who the back end cloud provider is, and what their policies are? Or are they just fine with whatever, so long as their product is ready on time and positioned to serve their needs? I’m not a sales guy, so I’m not so much interested in what makes them want one or the other. I’m more curious as to whether they care at all, do they ask questions about the cloud provider, or are they just trusting you to deliver the product and they pay the costs?

My experience with a lot of customers is they want to “own” their data. They have concerned that their data would get leaked or directed towards competitors or other clients we service. Rather than it being up in a cloud along with a lot of other client data, they wanted to run their own servers and have everything locked in at their facilities. Not just out of paranoia, but also because their customers wanted to know that their data was located.

I think you’re right of course, many people are aware of the security and geographic regional controls of where the data is when installed in the cloud. But I do see many customers with a desire to keep control over their data, even if it means paying higher costs.

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This sounds like a typical German argumentation :grin:
At my work we had in-house servers with owncloud for parts of our data and the rest was located on the servers from the company we worked for, only reachable through VPN.
I don’t think there was any data in the cloud. But I never asked why.


Uh, well, employees don’t care as long as they can do their job (or as long as their managers think they do their job). All they care about is that their IT decided to use tool X and they got (usually very minimal) training in tool X. They’re often not aware of what X is capable of and using it as little as possible. Substitute X for any technical decision in most companies.

IT is usually under pressure to perform well and is not in position to propose additional constraints (like using on-premise) unless the IT head has actual power in the company. This is not common, IT is usually a cost center. Besides, IT is under pressure to use new tooling because CEO reads Harvard Business Review and it says it’s cheaper and more efficient. It’s the new version of you can’t get fired for choosing IBM. The thing is, this doesn’t mean the cloud. This usually means Google or Microsoft.