Google Whitepaper Explains Cloud Data Deletion Process

Today’s topics include Google revealing details on its cloud data deletion process, and mobile carriers joining together for the Project Verify authentication effort.

Google last week released a whitepaper explaining the company’s process for handling data deletion requests by enterprises using its cloud services. The process is designed to ensure safe deletion of data from active systems, backup volumes and physical storage media.

Enterprises can ask for their entire account to be deleted, or just the data associated with a specific cloud project or resource. When any data is flagged for deletion, Google marks it as deleted and makes it unavailable for further use. After a certain grace period has ended, Google uses either cryptographic erasure or what it calls a mark-and-sweep garbage collection process where the deleted data is completely overwritten over time.

According to Google Product Manager Eric Chiang, "The final step in assuring deletion is to securely decommission our physical storage media.” This ensures that deleted data on decommissioned storage media is completely irrecoverable through forensic or laboratory attacks.

A group of mobile carriers including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon are working together in a group called the Mobile Authentication Taskforce, which officially announced its Project Verify effort on Sept. 12.

With Project Verify, the carriers are looking to use different signals and techniques to more effectively verify mobile user identity for different types of applications and services.

According to Johannes Jaskolski, general manager of the Mobile Authentication Taskforce, a customer will be able to create a device-based ID and use it to log into and enable participating service provider applications using their Project Verify ID.

Project Verify will also support logins from smartphones, tablets, PC web browsers, media streaming devices and more as the product evolves.