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A survey by hosting company Rackspace estimates that British consumers, between them, have 'digital assets' stored 'in the cloud' that are worth some £2.3bn ($AA3.6b) and says 31 percent have given some thought to passing on their 'digital inheritance'.

The figure is extrapolated from a survey finding suggesting that 24 percent of the UK adult population hold no less than £200 ($A309 worth of assets in the cloud. (A recent survey of 3000 consumers around the world commissioned by McAfee estimated that each, on average, has digital assets worth $US37k, but did not distinguish between cloud any other means of storage).

The Rackspace study of 2000 adults, 'Generation Cloud', was undertaken in association with the Centre for Creative and Social Technology (CAST) at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Eleven percent of respondents had "addressed their digital entities with care - eg they have left passwords to their digital treasures in their will - or are at least planning to do so," and 53 percent "have what they consider 'treasured possessions' stored with cloud services."

Fabio Torlini, VP of Cloud at Rackspace, said: "The cloud is becoming more and more part of our everyday work and personal life. With the large investment so many UK adults seem to be making in digital treasures, it's imperative that people consider the associated security and legacy implications. Businesses have a great opportunity now to shape consumer understanding of cloud computing and build trust. It's important to remember that although cloud is for everyone, it's not for everything."

The survey identified four distinct cloud user profiles:

- Head in the Clouds: "The most common new social profile which represents 66 percent of online respondents who are cloud users but don't think or don't know they are."

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Stuart Corner

 

Tracking the telecoms industry since 1989, Stuart has been awarded Journalist Of The Year by the Australian Telecommunications Users Group (twice) and by the Service Providers Action Network. In 2010 he received the 'Kester' lifetime achievement award in the Consensus IT Writers Awards and was made a Lifetime Member of the Telecommunications Society of Australia. He was born in the UK, came to Australia in 1980 and has been here ever since.

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