Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Clouds can be Dangerous

Agree or not with TechCrunch's decision to publish some data from some Twitter documents they received, I think the most important thing to note is what they say about using gmail and other cloud services

"It’s not our fault that Google has a ridiculously easy way to get access to accounts via their password recovery question. It’s not our fault that Twitter stored all of these documents and sensitive information in the cloud and had easy-to-guess passwords and recovery questions. We’ve been sitting in the office for eight hours now debating what the right thing to do is in this situation. We’ve spoken with our lawyers. We’ve spoken with Twitter. And we’ve heard what our readers have to say. All of that factors in to our decision on what to post or not to post."

I have been wondering how many people will need to get burned and to what degree before they start taking this sort of thing seriously. Given that Google's entire business model is selling targeted advertising, they have an incentive to collect as much data about you as possible. You would think for this reason alone people would be wary of dumping too much stuff into Google's hands. The annoyance factor would get to be outrageous, I would think. That's not even considering that Google has to be a HUGE target for any sort of cracker that wants to track down any kind of information. I'm sure they do their very best to keep everything as locked down as possible, but it's really hard to compromise the information if it isn't there to be compromised in the first place.

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