04 Mar High Tech Storage Lockers
Clouds, the next big thing, are not really for me. Call me a conspiracy theorist, paranoid, over protective, or a crank. The whole cloud thing sounds good at first. Cheap storage with no worries. But at some point you have to ask some tough questions about Cloud. Like what about data loss. Sending you life’s work to the cloud based on a “web page promise” to protect your stuff is, well, a bit naive in this day and age.
Then what happens when the cloud company wants to peak at your files. They promise privacy, but how is that guaranteed? Clouds are not banks. Banks know how much money you have in their vault, where it came from, and where it goes (for the most part), but they need a court order to share that information. I have seen no such requirement for anything I send to the cloud, financial or otherwise. Just recently, Amazon started Cloud Drive as music storage service. Stored music can include that which you buy from them and that which you upload. Take a look at their terms of service. If you did click on the link, I bet you did not read the whole thing. Who does? If you did, you would find this paragraph.
5.2 Our Right to Access Your Files. You give us the right to access, retain, use and disclose your account information and Your Files: to provide you with technical support and address technical issues; to investigate compliance with the terms of this Agreement, enforce the terms of this Agreement and protect the Service and its users from fraud or security threats; or as we determine is necessary to provide the Service or comply with applicable law.
By my reading of the paragraph above, Amazon has the right to “access, retain, use, and disclose … Your Files” based on what “we determine is necessary to provide the Service.” No thanks. That is too vague.
My concern about cloud is as follows. In order for companies to legally cover their assets (last three letters optional) they will need to have access to “your stuff” should they “require it.” Somehow in the cloud world when I give you something of mine to hold, part of it becomes yours. That is what scares me. You can’t legally take money from me for holding my stuff without the ability to look at (if necessary). And, I’m trusting you not to destroy it. Did you ever rent a storage locker and read the full contract? It is pretty much the same thing. If I’m storing anthrax, the owner has a right to know. If I’m storing stolen nuclear secrets in the cloud, the holder has a right to know. The need to peak is necessary and troubling at the same time.
With new 2TB external drives costing about $100 (internal are just as cheap), buy an external drive, back up your stuff and keep it under your pillow. Maybe I’m just old fashioned, but I like control.