Fears about Cloud Security and the Big Potential of Alexa Voice Technology


At the Dublin Tech Summit in Ireland recently, the chief technology officer of Amazon Web Services, Werner Vogels, dispelled security issues concerning cloud computing. After the news about the exposure of 540 million Facebook records stored on AWS, people have become concerned about the security of information stored in the cloud.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), companies must keep he personal data of EU citizens secured and confidential. The enforcement of the GDPR since May 25, 2018 increased the potential penalties for exposed data significantly. Therefore, companies are worried about storing information in the cloud.

The federal commissioner of Germany, Ulrich Kelber, also spoke at the Tech Summit and said that it is not recommended to use American cloud storage providers for hosting police data because of the risk of snooping. The federal commissioner expressed concern especially about the approval of the Cloud Act in 2018, which may give federal law enforcement access to information stored by U.S. technology firms.

A lot of U.S. companies are also cautious about storing sensitive data including protected health information (PHI) in the cloud, and the probability of HIPAA violations. Just like with GDPR, there may be severe penalties in case of data exposure, which is catastrophic for small healthcare organizations.

Vogels stated that there is no need to worry about cloud security and AWS is completely secure for storing data. He advised all AWS users to “encrypt everything,” or at least all personally identifiable information.

Encryption ensures that companies satisfy the demands of GDPR, HIPAA, and other state and federal regulations. Concerning the Cloud Act, in case a technology firm is warranted to release information, as long as the AWS customer has stored encrypted data and solely holds the decryption key, the data is absolutely secure. Access of data then is only between law enforcement and the customer and AWS has nothing to do with it.

Vogels additionally mentioned that AWS has enhanced controls to avoid data exposure. All customer data is closed off automatically. Deliberate action would be necessary to take away AWS protections so that data is accessible. If that happens, there will be major red flags raised.

Amazon makes certain that encryption is easy to use for any company. AWS offers encryption that makes sensitive data security very easy.

The Huge Potential of Voice Technology

Vogels also talked the potential of Alexa voice technology, which is a billion-dollar plus opportunity for Amazon. Amazon Alexa is the prominent voice technology and it is being used in healthcare. Though HIPAA was sort of a stumbling block because of its strict regulations on PHI, Amazon has already solved the problem. Amazon is entering into business associate agreements with a group of firms that could use voice tech to transfer data safely in compliant with HIPAA Rules. Just last week, Amazon launched six new healthcare skills that may be used with PHI. The firm will be partnering further with healthcare companies, though it will be by invitation only at this time.

WebMD also developed skills that permit users to ask questions regarding their conditions using voice commands instead of typing information on a webpage. These skills are only a few of the potential uses of voice technology in healthcare. People could also use Alexa to access healthcare data recorded in their EHRs in the future.

Vogels surely is convinced that medical-related voice technology  is the technology of the future. He thinks that voice commands will be the number one way people communicate with electronic systems in the future.