Businesses moving to the cloud are facing tough challenges around data protection and data use, according to tech giants Philips and insurance firm JLT.
The chief information officer of JLT, Ian Cohen, said the boom of cloud computing services has left the company facing a number of data protection challenges, both with suppliers and customers.
"We operate in a highly regulated environment and trust is vitally important to us," he said, speaking at a Salesforce customer event on Thursday.
"Not just the implied trust in our brand, but the implied trust that exists between us and our client when we handle their data. And in today's world increasingly, we are challenged to be explicit about how and where data is accessed."
Philips vice president Wim Van Gils agreed with this, explaining that the issue of data privacy is particularly relevant to firms using sensitive data.
"We see similar issues with our healthcare business where we're hit with compliance and a set of security requirements that are enforced by law. When we look at our relationship with consumers we want to be a trusted brand because we're in the health sector and we never want to compromise that," he said.
Gils said that many companies' unwillingness to ask for aid from cloud service providers has caused them to take a misguided, tick-box legal approach to data collection and privacy.
"We want to be very explicit about what information we're collecting and how we're using it. Not in some 15-page legal [document] showing what they agree to, we want to bring it up front because we believe it's one of the foundations of becoming a digital company," he said. "We need all the help we can get because this is quite new. Most companies are very implicit about it and I think we're entering an age where we need to be explicit about it."
Cloud service provider Salesforce's chief scientist JP Rangaswami said the company is aware of the challenge and is working to create solutions for the privacy problem facing cloud users.
"Data protection is a core concept," he said. "The phrase people use is informed consent. To get informed consent people need to know what is being collected and how it is being used. The customer needs to be aware of that, they need to know what is being collected.
"This is because it's not our information. The best we can do is ensure what we hold is solid and that we give our customers the ability to communicate back to their customers."
However, JLT's Cohen said that even with the help of bespoke cloud service experts like Salesforce, data privacy issues will continue. "It's a big issue and Salesforce are helping us but I think there's more to be done. We need to be even more transparent and to be even more supportive around data privacy, data allocation and data residency and all of these issues."
The news comes just after Salesforce announced plans to open a new data centre in the UK. The centre will open is Slough in 2014 and is designed to extend the company's European cloud services.
Scientists create a virtual reality simulation of a black hole sitting at the centre of the Milky Way
Simulations like this can help people understand complicated systems in the universe in a better way
The most luminous galaxy ever discovered is cannibalising at least three of its smaller neighbours, study finds
The galaxy radiates at 350 trillion times the luminosity of the Sun
Researchers modify genetic code of cancer-killing virus so it can target cells that protect cancer from immune system
Changing the genetic coding causes the infected cancer cells to produce a protein that kills the fibroblast cells that protect cancer
The findings can help improve the current understanding of brain development disorders, such as epilepsy or autism