Someone Else’s Cloud

I saw this a few weeks ago, but with one thing and another took till now to put my thoughts down with LibreOffice. Ah well. I had an email from the Free Software Foundation Europe, which mentioned a meeting they’d been to regarding the cloud. The slogan they mentioned is “it’s not the cloud, it’ somebody else’s computer”. That’s a point that can’t be too heavily emphasised. As I’ve said before, when using a third party cloud service your data ceases to be under your control. As for any business critical processes in the cloud, well you’re on dicey ground. Of course, you can maintain self-hosted fallback systems; but then why bother with the third party cloud service at all? When you consider things, if your business processes or critical data (business or individual) is cloud dependant then you’re really a hostage. A third party owns and can access and/or duplicate everything you do or have. If you have confidential Intellectual Property, then this is clearly a bit of a problem! In the event of a failure at their end, you can be left firmly up the famous creek through no fault of your own! In fairness, I should balance this by pointing out that if the cloud service is run in house, then you get the benefits and reduce the potential drawbacks. On a personal level, I run an OwnCloud instance on a Raspberry Pi computer. It’s allowed me to retake control of my data and gain a degree of independence.

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