Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type

Thesis

First Advisor

Agrawal, Rajeev

Abstract

The Internet has developed to such a point that many scholarly articles are calling it the 5th utility, behind water, power, sewage, and telephone. The usefulness of the fifth utility is undeniable and will certainly only grow. Soon, common internet users will be able to do more than just use it for entertainment and shopping. Emerging technologies have the ability to intelligently connect people to the data they need to improve their lives. For instance, heart rate monitors can be connected remotely to the internet and patients can live at home knowing that if there are any problems, help will be called even if they are alone and do not have the capacity to make the call themselves. The largest obstacle holding the average person back from using the internet in more meaningful ways is trust. The patient with the heart monitor must understand that his personal data, phone number, identification numbers, address, and other personal information is safe from those who might take advantage of a sickly person. It is difficult for the average internet user to trust that their personally identifiable information (PII) is safe on the internet. Almost weekly the American news media reports new, devastating breaches of personal data in big business. Rarely do they publish how well some companies protect their users. According to a 2010 survey conducted by the Fujitsu corporation, 88% of users, world-wide, are worried about who has access to their data and almost that much is worried about where their data is physically stored (Sato, 2010). We offer a survey and analysis to show that there is a consumer problem with trust and that there are ways for cloud service providers to gain that trust. The ultimate goal of the study is to educate users and CSPs of the problem that exists and suggest ways to overcome it.

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