Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Cloud Warning! The risk of online services

I ran across a dark underbelly of cloud services
picture taken by cjohnson7
this week. It was fairly unexpected but I think that it emphasizes one of the key problems when looking at cloud services.

Who really owns the data?

This is the question when we start looking at cloud services. The immediate answer from cloud providers is most likely "you do!" but is that really the case?

Just this week, I have a situation that refutes cloud service congeniality. To set the scenario I must confess that I  have possibly "lost" the raw material files that were used to create some online education packages. This was due to system malfunction and data loss. My need of backups is only a side-note in this narrative though.

The stormy weather of cloud services is revealed when our online learning host was approached about downloading copies of the materials that we had uploaded. We were given a solid "that is not available" response.

I am honestly stymied by this response. I created the content. My company owns copyright. I uploaded it to their service, yes, but I am very confident that I never signed an agreement to hand over rights to my digital files. This greatly concerns me when I look at the technology world crying "cloud, cloud, cloud". Is this really the way of the future with possession of bytes the nine-tenths of the law that matters?

This particular episode has once again soured my belief in cloud services. If you want to retain your data securely with a guarantee of access not confirmed only by your monthly bill, I would highly recommend to think twice before jumping to your cloud panacea.

Do you have any cloud horror stories?  Please feel free to drop them in the comments.  Best Wishes.

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