Posts Tagged ‘Dropbox’

Is it time to drop Dropbox?

May 2, 2014

ImageCondoleezza Rice’s appointment to the board of directors at Dropbox has sparked debate and fury amongst many of its users, with the most enraged pushing for a total boycott (http://www.drop-dropbox.com/).

The former US secretary of state is infamous for publicly backing the NSA’s snooping activities, which understandably does not sit well with users looking for a safe place to store their data.

From a business perspective, sure, she’s a solid candidate for the job. She’s a highly-regarded intellectual with reams of experience in the tech industry, and her long list of influential contacts will probably open a lot of doors for the company. But users don’t care about any of that.

As users, we want secure cloud storage, with a provider that we feel comfortable with – which is exactly what Dropbox has always professed to be. In response to the angry backlash they have faced over the last few weeks, CEO Drew Houston commented:

“There’s nothing more important to us than keeping your stuff safe and secure. It’s why we’ve been fighting for transparency and government surveillance reform, and why we’ve been vocal and public with our principles and values.

We should have been clearer that none of this is going to change with Dr. Rice’s appointment to our Board. Our commitment to your rights and your privacy is at the heart of every decision we make, and this will continue.”

They’ve stuck to their guns, but whether or not this statement will be enough to appease or reassure Dropbox users is yet to be seen. Unfortunately, with services like Dropbox, we only tend to find out about any snooping once a data leak makes it into the press and the damage is already done.

There aren’t many ways around it, either. Aside from paying for expensive, private cloud storage that ensures encryption of data, you don’t have much choice but to leave security in the hands of your cloud storage provider. We can’t stress how important it is to read the privacy policy for services like Dropbox to know exactly where you stand in terms of data protection. Any service provider that handles your data should be totally transparent about how it is stored and who has access to it. Our privacy policy is readily available on the BuddyBackup website, and includes details on the methods of encryption we use when transferring your data from one buddy to another as well as what access we have to it (none).

A final piece of advice would be to store any sensitive information locally rather than in the cloud, and use a service like BuddyBackup to securely back it up to a trusted friend, relative or a second PC. That way you know exactly where your data is, and who has access to it, at all times.

Author: Cassie Holmes, BuddyBackup