Clouds. Fickle beasts. Sometimes they look all nice and pretty up in the sky, other times they just dump their contents and quite literally rain on our parades. They change shape, state, appearance, and worst of all – we have no control over them. So when you think about it, ‘the cloud’ is a rather apt name for web storage.
OK, that allegory is a bit too much of a negatively aggressive generalisation about online file storage. But when the ‘other’ Steve who co-founded Apple starts to wax lyrical about the idea of people storing everything they own in the cloud being “horrendous”, maybe it’s time we all sat up and listened.
Steve Wozniak is not one to mince his words. He recently spoke of how beautiful and intuitive the Windows Phone operating system is, so you can’t really accuse the Apple man of bias. However, speaking after Mike Daisey’s one-man show The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, Wozniak tore into the idea of cloud computing, voicing his fears on the subject:
“I really worry about everything going to the cloud… I think it’s going to be horrendous. I think there are going to be a lot of horrible problems in the next five years.”
His main bug-bear appears to be data ownership, arguing that possession is 9/10ths of the law:
“With the cloud, you don’t own anything… You already signed it away. The more we transfer everything onto the web, onto the cloud, the less we’re going to have control over it.”
But while ownership might be one issue, security is also something to consider when thinking about storing your data and information in the cloud. Mat Honan – a reporter at Gizmodo – was the victim of an attack that saw hackers gain access to his devices through his iCloud account. As a result of this, they remotely wiped his iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air in a matter of minutes, as well as deleting his Google account.
So what do you think about the cloud? Are we setting ourselves up for a fall by storing our data with third-parties? Perhaps the more intriguing question is where the balance lies between convenience vs privacy and security. Do we choose to ignore the risks because the cloud offers a quick and easy solution that someone else will implement?