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Cloud computing is the long dreamed vision of computing as a utility, where data owners can remotely store their data in the cloud to enjoy on-demand high-quality applications and services from a shared pool of configurable computing resources. While data outsourcing relieves the owners of the burden of local data storage and maintenance, it also eliminates their physical control of storage dependability and security, which traditionally has been expected by both enterprises and individuals with high service-level requirements. In order to facilitate rapid deployment of cloud data storage service and regain security assurances with outsourced data dependability, efficient methods that enable on-demand data correctness verification on behalf of cloud data owners have to be designed. In this article we propose that publicly auditable cloud data storage is able to help this nascent cloud economy become fully established. With public auditability, a trusted entity with expertise and capabilities data owners do not possess can be delegated as an external audit party to assess the risk of outsourced data when needed. Such an auditing service not only helps save data owners¿ computation resources but also provides a transparent yet cost-effective method for data owners to gain trust in the cloud. We describe approaches and system requirements that should be brought into consideration, and outline challenges that need to be resolved for such a publicly auditable secure cloud storage service to become a reality.