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Saturday, 11 July 2015

Why would you use the cloud?

The other day when Microsoft asked me to change my PC login details there was also another suggestion that followed, immediately after I logged in with the new password, asking me if I wanted to store all my data in the cloud with a service Microsoft offers. ("In the cloud" here means, of course, storage of data on Microsoft servers in such a way that I access the data using a password via a Microsoft website. But most people will understand.)

Of course I immediately said, "No" to this helpful but completely unwanted suggestion. Storing things in the cloud is probably the last thing I would want to do.

A friend of mine recently had problems accessing one of her Gmail accounts, and in the past she had lost control of a Hotmail account as well. It's all so uninspiring really. And then there are the stories that appear from time to time, like the hack on Sony, which testify as to just how unreliable the cloud actually is. If people can get access to millions of records that are presumably on secure servers looked after secured by large corporations, how likely is it that Microsoft can keep my data safe? No thanks.

People tell you that the future is in the cloud but frankly that gives me absolutely no confidence whatsoever. I'd much rather run my own little empire-in-a-box on the floor next to my desk than relinquish control over my precious data and rely on the security apparatus of a profit-driven entity like a private company. We saw also with the NSA Snowden leaks how governments are so easily able to bully companies into giving them access to our data. Why on earth would Microsoft think I would want them to be looking after my stuff? I can hardly credit their conception of my gullibility.

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