Most companies that we entrust our data with encrypt the traffic and also the data, but they keep also hold the keys for decryption. That's about the way I put my money in a safe, putting the key on top of the safe - pretty useless.
The better way of encryption
It is much more useful to have the only key to my data as a user. Edward Snowden recommends to rely exclusively on service providers who use and live the Zero Knowledge technology. I'm definitely on a wavelength with uncle Snowden! The advantage is obvious: If a provider is hacked or requested by the authorities to give out data, the data cannot be used any further, because I still hold the keys. Finally, as a user I am in possession of the only key which can make the data readable again. The disadvantage of the story: if I lose the key (forgot password), I have no way to get my data anymore. Reset password does not exist..
How does Zero Knowledge Encryption work?
The principle is that the service provider receives only encrypted data, to which he has no key. This means that the data is already encrypted by the user with its key. These are then sent (again via SSL encrypted) to the server of the service provider. The stored data is now securely encoded. The user has the only phrase to decrypt the data. Whatever happens, without the user data cannot be restored. Whenever the user requests the data, these are sent to the client machine of the user and decrypted locally with the user's key. This method is currently considered as the safest method against cyber-crime and as a recommended means for data protection.
I think by now everyone is clear that the authorities and hackers can access lots of data. It gets more and more important to protect our data. Doesn't matter whether privte perspective or company, protect your data! Personally, I've been using zero knowledge service providers for a long time, whether for my private mail, data storage or my password storage.
What do you guys think about privacy?