Dropbox just showed us why you can’t rely on the cloud
A few months ago I posted about the new free Pogoplug service, and how it let you create your own file server on a PC. I liked the idea of controlling my own data, or as Mike Cane put it in the comments:
The point is this: If the government wants access to *your* cloud files, they have to serve *you* with a search warrant, not Dropbox or Google or Amazon or Apple.
That might sound a bit paranoid, but given the things my government has been caught doing, I don’t think it is. And today we got another lesson in why you can’t really trust the cloud service providers.
There was an uproar today after people noticed that Dropbox changed their user agreement. And the uproar continues, because Dropbox keep changing them! It started out this morning with Dropbox deciding that it can do what ever the bleep they want with your files:
you grant us (and those we work with to provide the Services) worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable rights to use, copy, distribute, prepare derivative works (such as translations or format conversions) of, perform, or publicly display that stuff to the extent we think it necessary for the Service.
Apparently it’s changed at least 4 times since then. (I learned of this late, so I don’t know the exact count.) This isn’t quite as bad as the time Scribd got caught pirating users' uploaded content, but it’s still not good.
I’m not going to rant and rave about this, but I will ask a question. Given how often they’ve changed the TOU, how can you predict what Dropbox will do tomorrow?
Do you really want to run the legal risk of your uploaded content being distributed by Dropbox?