Cloud vs conventional storage and computing in general

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Computing in the cloud and cloud storage is presently, in Fall/Winter 2009, and has been for a year or so, being touted as the bees' knees for “general” computing, storage and collaboration.

Web 2.0 has been around for a while now but as far as I am concerned – and i do believe that I am not alone in this here – there are still way too many security and personal privacy implications as well as implications of ownership.

Coming from a background of security and privacy cloud computing in any shape or form does not instill confidence in me as yet as regards to data security, safety, privacy and access. Especially not when considering that some providers reckon that when I use their service I grant them copyright to all of my material.. Erm, sorry, but I do not think so.

As far as ownership is concerned, as indicated in the previous paragraph, the likes of Google and others in their EULA state explicitly that by using the service provided by them the user signs over copyright to any and all materials stored in the cloud to the service provider to use by them as the service provider sees fit.

While this appears to be seen by the providers as a “joint copyright” after the event, as far as I am concerned, if I wrote an article or a book or a paper it is my copyright and not one that of, even in a shared ownership, Google or some other provider.

The other concern as far as the “cloud” goes is what happens top the material stored there if a service provider folds.

This concern is, I guess, more applicable to “free” services rather than to “paid for” ones but, nevertheless, it could happen there also. What then?How do you get your material back?

What redress does a user have if data is lost, and this is a discussion that seems to be going on in various quarters as of Fall 2009, and one that I can but feel with too.

Therefore, I must say that, as far as I am concerned, for a variety of reasons, privacy, security and ownership being the prime concerns, I will not be using cloud storage per se. I see too many problems there and too many possible pitfalls.

© 2009