Physical and online storage don’t have the same government protections

Online storage doesn't have the same Fourth Amendment protections as physical data, according to the U.S. government.

Information is essential for businesses as they use their reports to make important decisions and drive development for the future. However, this data is increasingly being targeted by malware and other malicious entities that can bring down operations. In this type of environment, it's absolutely critical to choose the best solution for data archival and storage. While many managers view online platforms as the answer, recent developments in the protection of these deployments show that they may not be the optimal choice for corporate information.

Online storage reviewable by law
Many organizations move their sensitive files to the cloud and other online solutions in order to have constant access, but rulings by officials state that this platform isn't as secure from prying eyes as owners hope. According to Engadget, a New York judge stated that U.S. search warrants could be used for digital information, whether it was housed locally or globally. While there were challenges to this notion, the U.S. government recently backed up the claim, stating that the Fourth Amendment protections are not the same for files in online storage as they are for physical data. In a world where data breaches are a rising occurrence, it should be no surprise that the government wants to keep up with activities in the online storage space. However, Microsoft disputed the ruling, claiming that protections should be extended to digital content and that the government's views of this material on foreign deployments are wrong. 

"From the Justice Department's point of view, this law is necessary in an age where 'fraudsters' and 'hackers' use electronic communications in not just the U.S. but abroad as well," Engadget stated. "Indeed, the Microsoft account in this case is in relation to a drug-trafficking investigation. However, Microsoft believes there are wide-ranging implications for such a statement, and it's not the only company that thinks so."

Physical storage more secure overall
Blu-ray discs are increasingly becoming favored as backup devices for a number of large organizations. Most notably, Facebook is using this hardware for cold storage of information. Physical backups can be easily accessed and are extremely durable. The performance of Blu-ray discs will always remain constant, ensuring that users are able to leverage it at a moment's notice. In addition, the organization will have total control over their sensitive data at all times, mitigating the potential for it to be corrupted or stolen by external parties. Because this type of storage is covered under the Fourth Amendment, it will be more advantageous to utilize it over online-based platforms. This will ensure that backups are always available and are not open to digital vulnerabilities.

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