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Abstract

This paper examines the evolution of a number of cloud computing services’ terms of use with the aim to discern whether they offer less or more (or equal) privacy safeguards. To better highlight the changes cloud computing has brought about, I focus on those privacy terms that relate to the special modus operandi of cloud services. This paper proceeds in three parts. Part I identifies the special ways by which cloud computing challenges privacy. Part II discusses a series of privacy terms commonly found in the sampled cloud computing services and follows their evolution by comparing previous versions where available. Part III then goes on to analyze what the changes mean and whether they give reasons to believe that cloud computing will more deeply compromise privacy. The overall conclusion is that cloud computing does result in the collection of more private information, but this mostly happens voluntarily. Thus, this paper concludes, cloud computing poses a greater threat insofar as more information is being collected and shared, but from a technological perspective cloud companies do not appear to indulge in greater privacy compromises than necessary to deliver their services.

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