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Displaying entries published on 2013-01-08. Back to all recent entries

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January 8th, 2013

The Cloud

This xkcd comic appeared under a different title, but even if Instagram was the recent case that brought up discussions like that, you can say the same for almost any cloud service, including the likes of Facebook, proprietary app stores, Dropbox, and a ton of others:



Just look for example at this piece of the terms of yet another cloud service that I was asked to sign on recently:
Quote:
You retain full ownership to your Content, but you agree to grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, irrevocable, transferable, perpetual, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, edit, translate, make derivatives, display and distribute such Content in connection with providing the Service to you and other users in accordance with your settings on the Service. In connection with providing the Service, we may modify or adapt your Content in order to transmit, display or distribute it over computer networks and in various media and/or make changes to your Content as are necessary to conform and adapt that Content to any requirements or limitations of any networks, devices, services or media.

So, basically, the cloud service can do anything with any content put in there. Anything put on there cannot be a "secret" and must be seen as being public - and of course the content and any data derived from it (like behavior, etc.) can and will be sold to others - after all, the cloud provider needs to earn money with something.

A long-standing saying about the cloud is that "if you aren't paying for the product, you are the product being sold". Everyone creating a service wants to feed him/herself and make a living, at least, and the money for that needs to come from something. I'm not saying I'm against cloud services, they enable some cool stuff at times, but you always should be aware that you hand over control to the service provider. And I feel better with any service that's telling me how they're generating the money to enable a living for their employees. Those that don't are the ones that make me feel worried when "putting my stuff in their garage".

If you want to keep control over your content yourself, there's of course a number of open and distributed alternative services out there that you can look into, for example Diaspora*, Open Web Apps, Persona, OpenPhoto, ownCloud, and others. :)

By KaiRo, at 21:58 | Tags: Cloud, open networks | 3 comments | TrackBack: 0

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