Aliyun, Alibaba Group’s cloud computing arm, pledged to protect user data while encouraging other players in the fast-growing cloud industry to work together to ensure the security of the cloud-computing environment.
At an Aliyun-hosted industry conference held today in Beijing, Aliyun President Simon Hu underscored his company’s commitment to protect the privacy and safety of data belonging to consumers and businesses by unveiling a “Data Protection Pact.”
Among other provisions, the pact guarantees that businesses, governments and other organizations using Aliyun’s services have “absolute ownership” over their data and this information “cannot in any way be altered or transferred by” Aliyun.
In the pact, Aliyun, China’s largest provider of public cloud computing services, also promised to “strive to continuously improve our threat protection, disaster recovery and other capabilities to strengthen the protection we offer to customers regarding data privacy, integrity, and accessibility.”
SCROLL DOWN TO READ ALIYUN’S DATA PROTECTION PACT
With cybersecurity increasingly becoming hot-button issues around the world, Hu stressed that “one of the most important reasons for users to choose a (cloud) vendor is not technology or services, but trust.”
He encouraged the cloud industry to work together with Aliyun to exercise self-regulation, which he said was vital to the development of what Aliyun calls the Data Technology economy. “We will request that more and more companies join the same initiative,” Hu said.
Aliyun said that its engineers analyze more than 100 terabytes of information each day to detect security threats such as cyber-attacks, malware and weaknesses in software that can be exploited by hackers. The company, which had 1.4 million customers as of June 2014 and operates the network that powers Alibaba Group’s massive e-commerce ecosystem, successfully thwarted 150 million cyber-attacks on Alibaba’s Tmall.com and Taobao online-shopping marketplaces in 2014.
Aliyun in 2013 was awarded the world’s first gold certification for cloud security by the British Standards Institute, a milestone for a Chinese company, said Aliyun Security Director Shen Xiyong during the conference.
Despite Aliyun’s security efforts, Hu said getting foreign companies to store data on its servers is a headwind the company faces as it expands internationally. Aliyun in March opened its first U.S. data center and later agreed to form a joint venture with Meraas, a state-owned holding company in Dubai, to provide cloud services in the Middle East.
“There are still cultural and trust related issues when Chinese companies try to provide software services,” Hu said, adding that other cloud-services providers such as Microsoft and Amazon face similar obstacles when entering foreign markets. “They always have to abide by local rules and regulations,” he said, vowing to do the same. “We have to be self-disciplined and fulfill our corporate commitment.”
“This is not just Aliyun’s commitment in China, but also to the whole world,” Hu said.
Here is the complete text of Aliyun’s Data Protection Pact:
“Customers using cloud services have entrusted their data and privacy to cloud service providers. In this Data Protection Pact initiated by Aliyun, we have outlined our commitment to protect consumers’ data privacy.
“The world is rapidly transitioning from an IT (Information technology) Economy to a DT (Data Technology) Economy. Traditionally unstructured, undiscovered, and underutilized Data can now be activated and leveraged as a new fundamental energy source. We firmly believe that Data, not oil, is the future.
“From the development of PC to mobile, to the Internet of Things, the explosion of Data is bringing about a new era of opportunity. It is clear to us that the future of all social and commercial activities will be founded on and driven by the Internet; with Cloud Computing as a public service, and Data as a resource. What this also means is that Data will become the most valuable asset every individual, and organization owns.
“Cloud Computing and Big Data are two sides of the same coin – the Cloud has provided an environment for the storage, computation, mining and sharing of Big Data. The synergy between Cloud Computing and Big Data has revolutionized, unleashed the enormous potential and value that Big Data can offer. As a platform-based technology company, Aliyun has been committed to providing safe, reliable Cloud Computing and Big Data services since its inception in 2009.
“Hereby is our proposal to the technology industry and the entire society:
“1. Customers, such as individual developers, companies, governments, and social institutions, have absolute ownership over any and all data generated on the Aliyun platform, including the rights to freely and safely access, share, exchange, transfer or delete their data at any time.
“2. Customers have the right to select whatever services they choose to securely process their data. This data cannot in any way be altered or transferred by Aliyun.
“3. As such that banks are obligated to protect clients’ financial assets, the obligation also falls on Aliyun to protect our customers’ data. It is the responsibility and duty of Aliyun to establish a set of strict management, control and internal audit systems, as well as strive to continuously improve our threat protection, disaster recovery and other capabilities to strengthen the protection we offer to customers regarding data privacy, integrity, and accessibility.
“Without the self-discipline exercised by the banking industry, the financial and economic prosperity that exists in modern-day society would not have ensued. Similarly, without common consensus and concrete action dedicated to data protection, the future for the DT Economy would be dim. We hereby promise to strictly abide by this pledge, and encourage the entire industry to collectively exercise the self-regulation that is vital in promoting the sustainable development of this Data Technology Economy.”