The development of cloud computing and its legal, ethical, social, and security implications

The development of cloud computing and its legal, ethical, social, and security implications

The term cloud computing originates from the symbolic use of a cloud to represent the

internet in computer network drawings. Cloud computing refers to the delivery of hosted services

via the internet. It enables the availability of all the data that the users need at all times. Shared

resources are provided to devices like computers over the internet as a metered service. The

cloud users have access to data, software and storage resources without the need to know any

details about the computing infrastructure like its location. Cloud computing is based on the

convergence of infrastructure. This enables users to manage faster applications which require

less maintenance. Cloud computing ensures a new means of collaboration through mobile

devices. This paper explores the development of cloud computing and its legal, ethical, social

and security implications. Future developments of the technology are also discussed.


Cloud computing is a popular alternative to traditional software licensing. Cloud users

access cloud computing through computers, smartphones and tablets. Clouds can be public,

private, community or hybrid. A public cloud supplies services to any internet user. It is

available to the general public. Examples include IBM Smart Cloud and Google App engine. A

private cloud provides services to limited number of users, like sole organizations. Examples

include Eucalyptus and Amazon Virtual Private Cloud. A community cloud is shared among

several organizations with common concerns, for instance, Microsoft Government Community

Cloud. A hybrid cloud consists of two or more private, public or community clouds. An example

is Windows Azure (Buyya et al., 2009).

In a cloud computing system, running applications is shifted from the local computers to

the cloud’s network. Cloud computing delivers three categories of services which include,

Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Software as a Service models.


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