Apple is announcing its iCloud service on June 6th (next week) bringing yet another big tech company into cloud services for consumers.
The main advantage of cloud-based services is the ability to access your data and files anywhere, and on any device you own. Everything from personal financial data on sites like mint.com to storing your digital music library is fair game on the cloud. Sounds great, right? Sign me up!
What could possibly go wrong? If you'd have asked me two years ago if moving to the cloud was the right direction, I would have told you yes, it is a great idea. Today, I am not as convinced. This change in perspective is mainly judged on the recent breaches of security with cloud network services.
First there was Amazon, shutting down many web services (thankfully not Netflix!). And then Sony's Playstation Network crumbled into dust, rumors of users' personal data being set out in the wild turned to a harsh reality with Sony offering identity theft protection to its vast network of users.
But wait..how does this happen and who has access to my information? Despite all of the convenience of the cloud, there's no denying taking advantage of it means giving up a certain amount of control over your own data. Also, what happens when we come to depend on cloud services and unexpected outages occur?
Raising these questions leads to more complicated answers. Sony spent a lot of time restoring services to their customers, but even as I write this there are still concerns that they haven't fully fixed the problem.
I am skeptical when I see more companies jumping onto the cloud. I personally don't think it's the right idea to push everything into servers all around the world, without being able to physically point to your information. At least not for very sensitive information. Personally, I have websites that I own and maintain in the cloud and its a wonderful service that works great. My issue is more concerned with highly sensitive personal information being passed around so easily nowadays.
The future is here certainly, but companies need to take extra special care before rolling out cloud services. I hope most will take care to bulletproof them as much as possible, instead of trying to beat other companies to the punch.
Did Apple take these concerns to heart before they decided to jump on the cloud bandwagon? I hope so. If not, we have some growing pains ahead for us for the future of protecting personal information in this highly connected world we now live in.
How do you feel about cloud services? Is it crucial for progress? Do you feel comfortable putting your personal files and data on the cloud?