Like many of you, I took a quick glance at the Dropbox Terms of Service “revision” email that went out to all users – and promptly deleted it.
Why? Certainly not because I don’t use Dropbox. I love it. It’s a great service. They sync your files better than anyone! (Besides, I’d have a tough time creating software to protect the cloud if I didn’t work in the biggest public cloud of them all.)
The reason I don’t care about the Dropbox ToS update is because it simply doesn’t apply to me. Let me explain. I don’t care who Dropbox sends my files to. Really? I went back and dug up that email, following the link to their ToS changes, just to make sure. Here’s what their government data requests principles page states:
"There have been reports that governments have been tapping into data center traffic of other services. We don’t believe this is right. Governments should instead request user data by contacting online services directly and presenting legal process. This allows services to scrutinize the data requests and resist where appropriate."
Naw, that doesn’t work for me. I don’t need my “services provider” making decisions about my data without my involvement. Even if they do plan to “resist where appropriate,” whatever that means.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for transparency. There’s more interest than ever for your data, through legal requests or otherwise. But disclosures don’t amount to much when it comes to my own security.
It comes back to the central reason we created Viivo. Viivo wraps up security of files themselves. This squashes the value of whatever data Dropbox hands over in the case they don’t “resist.” More than that, you’ve got confidence in protection of files when shared and stored in an awesome service like Dropbox. Empower the use of the cloud so that you don’t have to go back to the fine print when you want to share spreadsheets with co-workers or playlists with friends. (And how about adding the Talking Heads tune “Don’t Worry About the Government” to that playlist in the spirit of this post?)
Dropbox has rightfully raked up a lot of cash ahead of a potential IPO. With that type of business move – with the other public cloud providers watching closely – there could be any number of changes to terms of service. None of that matters if you bring your own “date to the dance”: your own encryption and key management for the cloud.
Let me know your thoughts on the revision to Dropbox’s ToS, or any others you’ve seen lately from the big cloud vendors. With responses to any emails or comments, I’ll make it my personal ToS to “resist where appropriate."