The Dropbox Controversy

The Dropbox Controversy

The two most popular cloud services in the market among mere mortals are Gmail/Google Docs and Dropbox. To many, these have become the Mecca of file sharing.

However, questions and doubt always accompany popularity. For the last couple of years, Google has been subjected to a barrage of criticism. Google, as we all know, provides many free cloud services, and this has become both their strongest selling point and also their weakest feature.

Many question the sincerity of the free service. Many critics think that no company will give away anything unless they get something in return. Google answered the criticism with a predictable defense. They said they earn through ads, and that although they track usage of their users, they do not identify them. It allows users to keep their privacy, and Google to earn money.  The critics aren’t done with Google, but they sure have slowed down a bit.

This year, the Dropbox cloud service seems to be finding itself in the same position. Puppet Labs CEO, Luke Kanies, pointed out the incredible amount of data that Dropbox holds. There are also a lot of confidential documents in there. Furthermore, the huge file-size limit of Dropbox allows users to send full videos, songs, and other medis files. All this prompted Kanies to ask whether the whole setup is even legal.  Although it sounds like this is one of those pretentious sermons, it is an important point.

Every American is protected by the Fourth Amendment, but it is also that same Fourth Amendment that puts intellectual properties in peril. There are no clear guidelines on how companies or other people may or may not use files that are saved in the cloud. There are also no clear guidelines on how the cloud is supposed to be used. This has been a long-standing legal debate, primarily because the Internet is a truly young technology, something the writers of the constitution didn’t even visualize. This leaves a lot of questionable, grey areas relating to cloud services.

For one, companies are starting to adapt app-centric environments. They are leaving behind their old infrastructures and making the move, all because of the promise of efficiency in time, money, and process. An app-centric environment allows them to concentrate on strategic concepts and allow others to develop apps that will help them execute their strategies.

Dropbox is enabling a large number of employees to share files easily, and as adoption grows, there is little thought put into what happens to the file once it is on the cloud.

Furthermore, file sharing through Dropbox is not regulated. Anyone you share your files with might open and view your file. This poses many questions about what people can actually share. Are employees allowed to share company documents using a free public cloud? Are people allowed to share songs and movies through Dropbox?

Obviously, these questions remain unanswered, and it will most likely stay that way until the courts gain enough understanding of this new technology. No law book taught them about this. If applying classic concepts like the Fourth Amendment fails, what will happen to files and data stored in the cloud?

By Kaamil Nakhasi

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Comic
When Sci-Fi Predictions Come To Fruition

When Sci-Fi Predictions Come To Fruition

Evolution of Technologies To paraphrase science fiction author Arthur C. Clark, those who make predictions about the future are either “considered conservative now and mocked later, or mocked now and proved right when they are no longer around to enjoy the acclaim.” The one thing we can be sure about, Clark ventured, is that “[the…

Facebook Hopes To Extend Internet Connectivity With Solar-Powered Drones

Facebook Hopes To Extend Internet Connectivity With Solar-Powered Drones

Facebook Inc (FB.O) said on Thursday it had completed a successful test flight of a solar-powered drone that it hopes will help it extend internet connectivity to every corner of the planet. Aquila, Facebook’s lightweight, high-altitude aircraft, flew at a few thousand feet for 96 minutes in Yuma, Arizona, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg wrote in…

When Will Women In Tech Become The Norm?

When Will Women In Tech Become The Norm?

Tech Diversity It is well known that the technology industry has been dominated by men, but it is also clear that the industry is working to change that. Diversity in the tech industry, especially where it applies to women in tech, has been a topic of discussion for years. Recently the Washington Technology Industry Association…

Four Keys For Telecoms Competing In A Digital World

Four Keys For Telecoms Competing In A Digital World

Competing in a Digital World Telecoms, otherwise largely known as Communications Service Providers (CSPs), have traditionally made the lion’s share of their revenue from providing pipes and infrastructure. Now CSPs face increased competition, not so much from each other, but with digital service providers (DSPs) like Netflix, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple, all of whom…

Edtech and Virtual Reality – Exciting Learning Environment

Edtech and Virtual Reality – Exciting Learning Environment

Customizing Edutech Customized edtech learning solutions are becoming more commonplace as the education industry recognises their potential and begins transforming the traditional structures so as to incorporate innovative developments. From textbooks to tablets, chalkboards to virtual reality, edtech promises not only dynamic and exciting learning environments but better learning strategies and solutions. Virtual Reality and…

Get Ready For Virtual Reality and the Cloud

Get Ready For Virtual Reality and the Cloud

Virtual Reality Cloud We’re lucky to live in an era where virtual reality is no longer relegated to the confines of a sci-fi movie universe. Thanks to technology introduced by products like Oculus Rift, consumers now have access to virtual environments with fully immersive graphic capabilities. As a result, companies have only just begun to…

Data Breaches: Incident Response Planning – Part 1

Data Breaches: Incident Response Planning – Part 1

Incident Response Planning – Part 1 The topic of cybersecurity has become part of the boardroom agendas in the last couple of years, and not surprisingly — these days, it’s almost impossible to read news headlines without noticing yet another story about a data breach. As cybersecurity shifts from being a strictly IT issue to…

How To Humanize Your Data (And Why You Need To)

How To Humanize Your Data (And Why You Need To)

How To Humanize Your Data The modern enterprise is digital. It relies on accurate and timely data to support the information and process needs of its workforce and its customers. However, data suffers from a likability crisis. It’s as essential to us as oxygen, but because we don’t see it, we take it for granted.…

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And Virtual Reality This is a term I created (Virtual Immersion). Ah…the sweet smell of Virtual Immersion Success! Virtual Immersion© (VI) an extension/expansion of Virtual Reality to include the senses beyond visual and auditory. Years ago there was a television commercial for a bathing product called Calgon. The tagline of the commercial was Calgon…

Are Cloud Solutions Secure Enough Out-of-the-box?

Are Cloud Solutions Secure Enough Out-of-the-box?

Out-of-the-box Cloud Solutions Although people may argue that data is not safe in the Cloud because using cloud infrastructure requires trusting another party to look after mission critical data, cloud services actually are more secure than legacy systems. In fact, a recent study on the state of cloud security in the enterprise market revealed that…

Cloud Computing Checklist For Startups

Cloud Computing Checklist For Startups

Checklist For Startups  There are many people who aspire to do great things in this world and see new technologies such as Cloud computing and Internet of Things as a tremendous offering to help bridge and showcase their ideas. The Time Is Now This is a perfect time for highly ambitious startups to make some…

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter The city of the future is impeccably documented. Sensors are used to measure air quality, traffic patterns, and crowd movement. Emerging neighborhoods are quickly recognized, public safety threats are found via social networks, and emergencies are dealt with quicklier. Crowdsourcing reduces commuting times, provides people with better transportation…

The Cloud Is Not Enough! Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions

The Cloud Is Not Enough! Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions

Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions Running a cloud server is no longer the novel trend it once was. Now, the cloud is a necessary data tier that allows employees to access vital company data and maintain productivity from anywhere in the world. But it isn’t a perfect system — security and performance issues can quickly…

Using Big Data To Analyze Venture Capitalists’ Ability To Recognize Potential

Using Big Data To Analyze Venture Capitalists’ Ability To Recognize Potential

Big Data To Analyze Using Big Data to Analyze Venture Capitalists’ Ability To Recognize Potential For those who are regularly involved with SMEs, venture capital, and company valuations, it is common knowledge that start-ups that exit for more than $1 billion dollars are extremely rare – often termed ‘unicorn’ companies. Despite their rarity, it should…

Fintech Investments Are Seeing Consistent Growth

Fintech Investments Are Seeing Consistent Growth

The Financial Services Cloud Fintech investment has been seeing consistent growth in 2015, with some large moves being made this year. The infographic (Courtesy of Venturescanner) below shows the top Fintech investors and the amount of companies they’re currently funding: Just this week, a financial data startup known as Orchard Platform raised $30 million in…

4 Industries Being Transformed By The Internet of Things

4 Industries Being Transformed By The Internet of Things

Compelling IoT Industries Every year, more and more media organizations race to predict the trends that will come to shape the online landscape over the next twelve months. Many of these are wild and outlandish and should be consumed with a pinch of salt, yet others stand out for their sober and well-researched judgements. Online…