Thursday, August 13, 2009

Everything under control? 2009-08-13

By Robert Kempf
Yesterday I was reading a newspaper featuring an article on ChromeOS and its focus on cloud services – central information storage, accessible from everywhere, removing the need to have huge storage capabilities in your device, no need to store the same content on different devices, no synchronisation problems anymore, … We heard these arguments many times during the last 2 years and everyone appreciates that the cloud could make personal information management simpler than ever before. Looking out there it appears that a growing number of people trust cloud services and are not heisting to put their most private data out there.

However many still do not feeling uncomfortable with having all private content stored in a central place. It is not very clear what the data hosting party is allowed to do with our contents – whether these are securely stored only and won’t be exploited for research, personalized marketing or even other purpose we don’t even want to think of. I personally like the cloud idea, but would never use such a central storage for all my data. So where are the rules the hosting parties need to subscribe to? I haven’t seen them yet.
Interestingly enough there was another article on eBooks and users wondering that from one day to another an Ebook vanished from their devices without being notified – it was George Orwell’s “1984”. Did someone fear that people might read this book and create a dotted line to the cloud?
One might think of that, but the reason was simple – licensing issues ;-)
But still, we the users should know what’s going on on our devices and with our data and if anyone modifies or deletes our data we should be informed about that upfront.
For cloud services to reach their full potential and to reach a truly global audience this is a challenge that needs to be addressed.

So do we have everything under control still, or are others taking control?

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