Cloud Computing (STOA-ETAG)

European Perspectives on impacts and potentials of Cloud Computing and Social Network Sites

Through Cloud-Computing, data once stored locally become more and more distributed over network-structures and outsourced into the Cloud Aspects of security and privacy are at the core of this project.

The network is the computer is the next big Internet-paradigm. With Cloud-Computing, data once stored locally become more and more distributed over network-structures and outsourced into the “Cloud”. Data access is comfortable and decoupled from local boundaries, but what is the flipside of this comfort?

ITA examines the role of Social Network Sites

The technical concepts behind Cloud Computing can be understood as intertwining of different application layers that partially entail specific modes of interaction. The results are, among others, software services such as google docs, dropbox, etc., or leasable infrastructure services for enterprises such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon Cloud Services.

The project explores the social, technical, economic and legal aspects of Cloud Computing. The focus is on questions related to privacy and security threats, as well as technical and legal implications. As a starting point, the evolution of technical concepts and foundations of Cloud Computing, which can in fact be traced back to the 1960s, will be analysed.

ITA takes the lead of a separate module of the project, which copes with Social Network Sites (SNS). Specific application contexts, for example new modes of interaction for collaborative creating and sharing of information among users like “Share” or “Like” buttons, are entangled with the distributed structures of Cloud Computing respectively and would not be possible without it.

Yammer and Communote

Additionally, specific enterprise-oriented networks such as Yammer or Communote, that are deemed as essential parts of Enterprise 2.0 concepts to foster collaboration within businesses, will be explored. Based on the emergence and diffusion of different forms of SNS, the module puts emphasis on analyzing the potentials and risks of transforming social interactions. Protection of privacy, security and the much debated relation between copyright and free knowledge exchange are major aspects of the analysis.

The interplay between cloud computing and social networks

In its final phase the project will focus on the interplay between Cloud Computing and Social Networks. A recommended course of action will be presented to decision-makers at the European level. The overall results will be the subject of two workshops that will be conducted with major stakeholders and members of the European Parliament.

04/2012 - 12/2013