Cloud computing is an emerging evolutionary computing model that provides highly scalable services over high-speed Internet on a pay-as-usage model. However, cloud-based solutions still have not been widely deployed in some sensitive areas, such as banking and healthcare. The lack of widespread development is related to users’ concern that their confidential data or privacy would leak out in the cloud’s outsourced environment. To address this problem, we propose a novel active data-centric framework to ultimately improve the transparency and accountability of actual usage of the users’ data in cloud. Our data-centric framework emphasizes “active” feature which packages the raw data with active properties that enforce data usage with active defending and protection capability. To achieve the active scheme, we devise the Triggerable Data File Structure (TDFS). Moreover, we employ the zero-knowledge proof scheme to verify the request’s identification without revealing any vital information. Our experimental outcomes demonstrate the efficiency, dependability, and scalability of our framework.