A decade ago, almost no one used online backup services to store their data in the cloud. Yet, as smartphones become ubiquitous, the need to synchronize data among multiple devices has boosted the use of cloud backups and put more personal and business data onto third-party servers.
While centralized storage and administration of data in the cloud is beneficial for users, large stores of data attract unwanted attention as well, and not just from cybercriminals and hackers. With the June revelations of the extent to which the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is collecting data on users, more businesses and people are concerned that their data may be accessed by a subpoena or search warrant.
In fact, legal access to such detailed data may be a greater threat than hackers, says Lee Tien, senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).