A recent study conducted by Fujitsu found that consumers are, as a whole, mixed about having their personal data on the cloud. On one hand, individuals understand the benefits of cloud computing, and are willing to sacrifice some security in favor of applications that will genuinely improve their daily computing. Conversely, most consumers do not completely trust companies to handle data appropriately, and therefore fear cloud solutions to a certain extent.

A fairly common solution to this paradox, according to the survey, is to put federal governments in charge of monitoring cloud computing.

According to the survey, which polled 3,000 people spread over 6 countries, more than 80 percent of consumers expect government entities to provide regulation and legislation to protect personal information stored on the cloud. However, only 20 percent of respondents were confident in the government to protect information.

Overall, consumers focus on control of their data. When companies can freely sell consumer information, or governments can store biometric identifications over long periods of time, people tend to feel insecure. To completely trust the cloud, users want to understand the location and rights associated with their personal information.

Based on recent efforts by major businesses, corporations also want the government to step up and protect information stored on the cloud.

A group of leaders in the technology industry recently gathered at a forum held by Brookings in Washington, D.C. The eventual result of the discussion was a clear message that cloud computing needed improved data protection.

Current government policies treat information stored on the cloud differently than data on private computers. As a result, clouds are less secure than government access and some companies subsequently avoid cloud solutions.

Despite all of these data protection concerns, Fujitsu still believes cloud computing is the future of the technology industry.

In the survey's foreword, researchers stated "cloud computing is a game-changing development for the ICT industry and has major implications for us all. For some, cloud computing evokes fear of change and of loss of control. For others, it is an opportunity for new services that make life easier."

Based on the consumer opinions shared in the survey, cloud computing's success depends heavily on governments and businesses solving the data protection issues. Researchers found 90 percent of respondents in the U.S. want to be asked before anybody can move their data. Internationally, 88 percent worry about who would have access to personal data. As a general rule, consumers want to control their data, as 91 percent of respondents want a cloud system that allows them to manage their personal information.