New research indicates that the majority of Europeans do not trust US cloud storage (opens in new tab) firms with their personal data. A study conducted by pCloud surveying 4,500 individuals across the UK, France and Germany found that 82% had concerns about storing their personal files with American technology companies.
The skepticism is surprising given that the importance of cloud services has grown markedly of late. The coronavirus pandemic has seen businesses and consumers rely more heavily on cloud solutions to conduct work and social engagements remotely in the era of social distancing, but clearly they are still having difficulty trusting the services that they are using.
Among the respondents' biggest concerns was the possibility that personal data would be used for commercial gain, which was cited by 51% of respondents. The possibility of hacks leading to data breaches was another worry, mentioned by 43%.
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“With families, friends and businesses forced apart by coronavirus, we have seen a huge uptake in cloud services to connect people at this most challenging of times,” Tunio Zafer, CEO at pCloud, said. “This study found that 71% of people will use cloud storage and file sharing solutions more in the post-COVID world. However, it is clear that Europe demands better than ‘big tech’ is offering, having been burned one too many times.”
For individuals to feel more comfortable storing their data in the cloud, location is important – having information stored in Europe rather than the US was preferred by 82% of survey respondents. Transparency is also key, with 74% of individuals stating that they like to check the security features of a cloud provider before deciding to use them.
Although the cloud market is experiencing a boom as a result of the pandemic, clearly more could be done to build customer trust. Privacy is evidently a core issue for cloud users, so technology firms, whether they are based in the US or Europe, must do more to prioritize their security features.
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