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Cloud computing enables highly scalable services to be easily consumed over the Internet on an as-needed basis. A major feature of the cloud services is that users' data is usually processed remotely in unknown machines that users do not own or operate. While enjoying the convenience brought by this new emerging technology, users' fears of losing control of their own data(particularly financial and health data) can become a significant barrier to the wide adoption of cloud services. To address this problem, in this paper, we propose a novel highly decentralized information accountability framework to keep track of the actual usage of the users' data in the cloud. In particular, we leverage the programmable capability of Java JAR files to enclose our logging mechanism together with users' data and policies. Our approach ensures that any access to users' data will trigger authentication and automated logging local to the JARs. To strengthen user's control, we also provide distributed auditing mechanisms. Our experimental study demonstrates the efficiency and effectiveness of the proposed approaches.
Date of Conference: 4-9 July 2011