It seems like every other technology article today is about cloud computing and its benefits for businesses and consumers alike. However, not everyone thinks so fondly of the concept. One of the most vocal skeptics of the cloud computing phenomenon is co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak.
Mr. Wozniak’s main concern with cloud computing has to do with users essentially signing away their rights to information. His quote about the topic was simply: “I want to own things.” Cloud computing is huge right now, but many other people may share his feelings. When you use cloud storage you are essentially putting your data into a shared resource that is completely outside your control.
Mr. Wozniak has concerns that he thinks may be far reaching. He feels that in a few years’ time that there will be serious issues that grow out of cloud computing. With the cloud, no one truly owns his or her own data as it has been signed away during the terms of service. He feels there is a great confusion as people think that everything exists on their computer, but in reality, it is “in the clouds” and out of their own control.
As an example of the kind of problems that Steve Wozniak predicts will become more common, consider the case of Mat Honan. Mr. Honan was a staff writer for web magazine Gizmodo. Much of his data was stored on a cloud computing network called iCloud. His account was hacked through very low-tech means. The culprit convinced an Apple support team member that he was Mat Honan.
After this hacking incident Mat Honan was not able to access his iPhone, MacBook and all other Apple products. For a busy tech writer, this was a difficult issue. He described it as his personal nightmare, for good reason. The idea of these scenarios where a completely innocent party loses access to their personal data—not to mention the criminal activities that could be conducted using account data—is the reason that cloud skeptics like Steve Wozniak continue to worry about the growth of the cloud computing industry.
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