The NSA Effect: Scandal Casts $35B Shadow Over US Cloud Computing

Many execs in the digital media and marketing industries cringe at the notion that the National Security Administration surveillance scandal has any ties to their consumer data-collection practices. As that debate rages on, a bedrock of the consumer data explosion — cloud computing — could be at risk in the U.S.

An August report from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation predicts as much as $35 billion could leak from the U.S. cloud computing market by 2016 if foreign clients pull business from U.S.-based cloud services. By 2016, Gartner estimated the public cloud computing sector would generate $207 billion.

Advertising agencies, ad tech firms offering marketing software and data management services, and brands themselves use U.S.-based cloud services, which allow relatively easy, cost-efficient access to data they use to run digital ad targeting, email marketing efforts, site optimization and loyalty programs. Amazon is one of the largest providers of cloud-based data services. Even average web users store data such as document and music files in the cloud via services such as Google Drive and Dropbox.

The ITIF report cites a survey of its members conducted by the Cloud Security Alliance in June and July. Among non-U.S. residents, 10% said they

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