Data Guarantees and the Cloud

Over at Digital Trends, they continue to sift through the fallout from the Megaupload debacle. This time, the focus is on the fallout for Megaupload’s users. While the founder of the sharing site bides his time in a New Zealand jail, his erstwhile clients are struggling to ensure that the data they stored on the site isn’t deleted from Megaupload’s servers.

Couts is concerned with the privacy and data rights policies on a number of cloud storage sites. In the wake of the Megaupload incident, users are filing legal complaints arguing for the preservation of the data they had stored on the site. The company that hosted Megaupload – Carpathia Hosting* – intended to start deleting files due to Megaupload’s non-payment for services. They’re within their rights to do so, since Megaupload’s users agreed to the company’s Terms of Use, which specified that Megaupload could “terminate site operations without prior notice.” If that sounds a bit draconian, you may be surprised to find that a number of other sites maintain similar Terms of Use. Couts goes into the Terms for several popular sites over on his blog, and there are sure to be some names you recognize in the list.

So, are these companies being evil? Or, at least, underserving their clients? Not really. The Megaupload case represents something of a Black Swan with regard to cloud user services. It’s a special occurrence: a wildly popular site that was being used for both legal and illicit purposes. Those users who were using the site for legal purposes now find themselves in the lurch due to the actions of the company’s leadership and those users who were breaking the law. The real takeaway is that, even when using a reliable cloud solution from a company that’s not thumbing its nose at the law, you’ll want to keep your own backup copies handy.

So, where can you turn when you want to store your files, but don’t want to run the risk of losing everything? You’ll want to look for a provider that allows you to choose what you upload and allows you to maintain a backup copy on your own drive: a copy that’s instantly updated no matter where you change the file from. And, you know, world class security and affordable pricing don’t hurt either.

 

 

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