The Cloud Fails Users Again - The Dropbox Case
Here we go again... The Cloud, the over hyped marketing tool for basically Software as a Service has once again showed it's true nature and dark side when it comes to user's data. This time the online storage service, Dropbox, is in the limelight. Dropbox changed their Terms of Service agreement and people are actually reading them now and discovered that the Cloud is not a nice, safe happy place for you to store your data.
The blogs and media stories are focusing on more of control of your files where I see it a little differently when it comes to their alleged security. Let's break it down.
Here is their new verbiage.
We sometimes need your permission to do what you ask us to do with your stuff (for example, hosting, making public, or sharing your files). By submitting your stuff to the Services, 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. You must ensure you have the rights you need to grant us that permission.
Sometimes need permissions... what about the other times? If you read this a few times you will see that Dropbox does not care about your data. But I look at it much differently and deeper that goes to the core of these online storage services, security of your data.
Going further into the Terms we can see their stance on security.
We encrypt the files that you store on Dropbox using the AES-256 standard, which is the same encryption standard used by banks to secure customer data. Encryption for storage is applied after files are uploaded, and we manage the encryption keys.
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OK, they have a pretty good encryption on it, but they have the keys, not you. This is to prevent external attacks from sucking all the stored files outside of Dropbox's walls, but this does not prevent Dropbox from accessing all your files. Which is states that it does from time to time.