A new study from cloud solutions provider Funambol found that many consumers are interested in adopting personal clouds, but only if service providers can guarantee information stored in such environments is secure and private.
In a survey of 232 people from 49 different countries, 75 percent of respondents said they planned to use a personal cloud in the future. Personal cloud services, like public clouds, enable users to access stored information from a variety of internet-connected devices, such as computers, smartphones and tablets.
For consumers, this often means accessing music libraries and photos, but it can also include more important data, such as documents and business presentations. According to the study, 72 percent of survey respondents said they would use the cloud for both personal and business purposes.
However, as with enterprise users, consumers harbor concerns about the data security implications of the cloud. According to Funambol's report, security and privacy are "paramount" concerns when it comes to personal cloud computing.
Funambol's report is particularly timely given the upcoming release of Apple's iCloud digital locker service. Expected to become available in September, iCloud enables users to sync their data, documents and media files across iOS-based devices and PCs.
However, iCloud isn't the only consumer-focused cloud service to be introduced in recent months. Google, for example, is currently beta testing its own cloud-based music service, which allows users to access digital music files from the web. Meanwhile, Amazon recently introduced its Kindle Cloud Reader, which provides access to digital libraries online without having to download each individual book.
For each of these services, though, it is important that service providers can ensure data stored in the cloud is protected. Failure to do so can damage the reputation of the cloud provider and impede the growth of the technology, which has potential to be hugely beneficial to consumers and businesses alike.