Most cloud users understand how poor privacy practices could pose a serious risk to their personal data, but placing overly draconian restrictions on cloud-based data management as a measure of protection can also have deleterious effects, warned Steven Woodward, director of the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) Canada, at SC Congress Toronto today.

Woodward is a member of the United Nation's International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which spearheads a global initiative to leverage “big data” for the betterment of humanity. However, cloud-based data restrictions have at times hindered the organization's efforts.

“There are risks associated with personal injury and even death because of the fact they can't get access to some of the data that would actually reduce some of these risks, including where to deploy some of the UN relief efforts,” said Woodward. Because of governmental restrictions on what data they have access to, they can't get the relief positioned to the right people in the right amount of time.”

“So basically children are dying because of those… restrictions on data.”