CLOUD Act Being Opposed Over User Privacy Concerns

The CLOUD (Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data) Act is being opposed over user privacy concerns leading up to the vote by congress later this week to add this Act into the omnibus spending bill. Citing reasons like authorities in the U.S. and abroad having access to private user data without needing input or oversight from judicial parties, long-time advocates for security and privacy rights for U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries, Fight For the Future believes the inclusion of the CLOUD Act would be at great risk to the privacy and security of anyone who stores copies of their personal and private information online.

On a more specific level, the CLOUD Act would essentially allow authorities to access personal user data that's stored on cloud servers (with services such as Google Drive or Dropbox) belonging to big tech companies without having to get consent or meet certain privacy requirements. This wouldn't be limited to data stored in one country, such as the U.S., and based on the information would allow for the access to said data regardless of the country where the data was being stored. So for example, if the police in any given state in the U.S. want to access the user data of a certain individual that's being stored in the cloud with a particular service, and that data is being stored on servers belonging to that service yet in another country, then the CLOUD Act would allow for the authorities to gain access to that information with less friction or resistance.

The same goes for other governments having access to the same type of data for its citizens if it's stored on servers belonging to companies in the U.S., and would allow them to do so without needing to have a U.S.-based warrant issued to them in order to view the data. Though the vote has yet to take place, with such big concerns over the risk of losing privacy over personal data said to be at stake, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that an Act, being referred to as "recklessly exposing sensitive information entrusted to tech companies," of this nature would be opposed.

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Justin Diaz

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Justin has written for Android Headlines since 2012 and currently adopts a Games Editor role with a specific focus on mobile gaming and game-streaming services. Prior to the move to Android Headlines Justin spent almost eight years working directly within the wireless industry. Contact him at [email protected]