I have written about the benefits and challenges of cloud storage in recent times. One of the issues involved is that of your rights as

Be careful what you upload to the Cloud

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I have written about the benefits and challenges of cloud storage in recent times. One of the issues involved is that of your rights as a user. The truth is that when you put your files on someone’s servers, you waive certain rights.

All these cloud services have terms and conditions that limit your rights on the stuff that you upload, and you should check them out. You never know. You might just be violating some of them.

Here is an excerpt from a news story by WMPowerUser

Dutch user ‘WingsOfFury’ had uploaded 9 GB of content, and suddenly found his Windows Live account suspended, meaning he lost access to his Hotmail, Xbox Live, could not purchase apps and could of course not upload anything to SkyDrive.

After contact with Microsoft support he found out that his account was blocked because there was a folder on his SkyDrive that contained content which was not allowed by the code of conduct of Microsoft SkyDrive. The folder was a private folder, not shared to anyone else.

For all the benefits of cloud storage, the truth is that it is not your hard drive. It is space on someone else’s hard drive. That person has the right to determine what is appropriate or otherwise on their server. They also have a right to snoop through the stuff that you put up there.

Even where your files are all legitimate and legal, that is scary. It is one of the reasons why I stick stubbornly to devices with mass storage features. Only absolutely essential files ever go into cloud storage at my end. The rest – my documents, music, videos, and pictures all stay offline on my own hard drives.

Have you checked out your cloud provider’s terms and conditions? What are your thoughts on the subject? Do share.

11 comments

  1. Basically, don’t put anything in the cloud you can’t afford to lose.

    I’m sure I read recently about Dropbox being hacked. Those are the risks you take when someone else has control over where you store your “stuff”.

  2. Yes sure you are right Mr. Mo. Personally, this cloud of a thing doesn’t work for me probably because I don’t need it anyway. Most of the files I back up are heavy(1gb & above) and you know the idea of price and connectivity in this country hmmm. An external hdd works for me. but then again, both storage system have their advantages and disadvantages.

    NB: Mr Mo plesase could you do a write up on the differences between a tablet, smartphone, e-book reader? I Had an argument with a friend concerning what category to place the ipad.

  3. Mr Mo plesase could you do a write up on the differences between a tablet, smartphone, e-book reader? I Had an argument with a friend concerning what category to place the ipad

    The iPad IS a tablet pc
    The iPad IS NOT primarily a smartphone although some jail broken iPads can make phone calls.
    The iPad can function as an e-book reader when the relevant apps are installed.

    Hope this helps.

  4. Also depending on the product in question, one device can perform all three functions.

  5. @Keweno – interesting enough, I read an article today where someone referred to their iPad as a smartphone. I re-read the sentence again and there was nothing written qualifying it as such.

  6. Would you refuse to keep your money in the bank because some robbers might break in and rob the bank? Keeping your money at home is worse.

    Food for thoughts.

  7. “…..his account was blocked because there was a folder on his SkyDrive that contained content which was not allowed by the code of conduct of Microsoft SkyDrive…..”

    That means these guys go through your stuff and all your private things. That’s scary. With proper incentives, they could furnish your enemies with such info to destroy you or your carrier. God helps us all.

  8. @deoladoctor not quite the same. Money is not virtual, and you’re most likely putting it into a physical place i.e. a bank.

    Even if the bank is robbed, so long as it has been deposited, the bank is still obligated to give you the money as it is rightfully yours.

    If you lose something in the cloud it is lost forever if they cannot retrieve it. At the end of the day, a redundant backup is always best i.e. have it on a laptop/desktop and an external hard drive, in addition to having it in the cloud.

  9. Cloud storage has its uses but for now, especially with our bandwidth limitations over here, it can’t be used to its full potential. In this case, I think it all depends on the provider and how well you trust them. I don’t see myself using skydrive anytime soon (even though they offer 25gb free) cos I don’t trust microsoft with my data. Same goes for iCloud if I had an apple device. I’d only use those services for things like syncing contacts, calendar, todo, email, etc. I’d much rather save my data with neutral parties such as Dropbox and SugarSync. I can use Google’s Drive. For now though, I use Ubuntu One for my cloud storage need, mainly because its baked into my primary OS (ubuntu). I also used Dropbox periodically, mostly for collaboration work, utilizing its shared folder feature.

  10. @Deoladoctor: like Noni said, that your bank scenario doesn’t hold water. Banks are covered by insurance so whether the robbers loot the whole bank sef, they have to pay whatever you deposited with them. The rule might not apply in the land of strange things (Naija) lol

    This one is one hell of any eye opener. To think that I’ve been storing private files in my SugarSync account. Thank God I was using a fake email address for the account 😀

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