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 are 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 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 propose an object-centered approach that enables enclosing our logging mechanism together with users’ data and policies. We leverage the JAR programmable capabilities to both create a dynamic and traveling object, and to ensure 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. We provide extensive experimental studies that demonstrate the efficiency and effectiveness of the proposed approaches.