In a development likely to be closely watched by Google,, Microsoft Corp. and other vendors, according to a Computerworld report, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is examining potential threats to consumer privacy and data security posed by cloud computing services. The agency will hold a roundtable session on January 28, and another later this year, to gather information from industry stakeholders and to study ways of protecting consumer privacy in cloud environments. The FTC plan was also detailed in a letter sent last month to the Federal Communications Commission. The letter was filed in response to a request for comment on a national broadband plan that is being drawn up by the FCC. In its letter, the FTC said it wants to be sure the FCC pays attention to technologies such as cloud computing and identity management in drawing up its plans. The letter, signed by the director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, highlighted some of the cost benefits of cloud computing services but also expressed concerns at the associated risks. Physical security vendors – especially software as a services for access control and security video – see promise in the cloud.

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