by Tim Weaver
While tens of millions of companies and private citizens have turned to the cloud for storing their data, one of the biggest markets has thus far eluded companies who provide cloud services: European governments, according to the New York Times.
The United States by contrast has embraced the trend, and according to Market Research Data will spend roughly $4.7B on cloud services next year, and is projected to double that number over the next five years. A wide variety of information technology firms are already servicing the US government, including Amazon, Microsoft and Google.
At the same time the House of Lords in Britain decided not to implement a cloud service in order to improve voter registration rolls.
Companies have been assuring governments that the information is secure, but Karen Evans, former chief information officer for the US says they're lacking an accountability infrastructure. “If you ask, they all say they are meeting the government’s rules... Microsoft says they are. Google says they are. You have everybody saying, ‘Yes, we are doing this.’ What you don’t have is a procedure in place to check every year.”
Google has also come under fire in the United States for privacy concerns cited by the Federal Trade Commission. Until Google and other cloud computing firms can assuage public fears over their ability to prevent data mining they may be locked out of the lucrative public sector market.