CLOUD is the Consortium for Local Ownership and Use of Data. We are a non-profit technology standard consortia [pursuing 501(c)(6) status]. As CLOUD’s co-founder, Gary Thompson, highlights in his TEDxAustin talk, the birth of CLOUD was during he and his wife’s journey to MD Anderson Cancer Center in early 2009 to fight her recurrence of breast cancer. It was during that journey from Austin to Houston that today’s most vexing issues of privacy, security and data came too close for comfort. As the next several months unfolded, it became clear that these issues were bigger than just healthcare and bigger than any one country.
It also became clear that there was no cohesion to the many individual efforts underway within industry silos and technology silos alike. Just like the Internet is a global network, the answers to privacy, security, identity and data will be global, too, and they will also be linked. You can’t address one without addressing the others simultaneously. Through many individual meetings, social media, as well as industry conferences from Munich to Brussels to Toronto and engagement with industry organizations from healthcare to finance to education, we realized that in addition to CLOUD’s vision for the future of the Internet, we can also serve a unique function bringing together many disparate voices and experts across countries, industries and technology sectors.