Friday, September 23, 2011

A Danger In the Cloud

I recently cancelled my subscription to Netflix.  After the deed was done, I realized that I had just lost years of ratings I had input into Netflix to let the service help me choose future movies.  My opinion on 1000+ movies gone - poof!  That's when the thought struck me: in the cloud, we don't really own anything!  We input our personal data into these cloud-based services but are not allowed to retrieve it upon cancellation of the service or, god forbid,when  the service goes out of business.  Think about it: does Facebook give you a way to retrieve all the photos, videos, chats, etc. you've uploaded?  Does youtube let you easily download all the videos you've put there?  Does LinkedIn let you download all your contacts?  Does Pandora let you export your radio stations?

Of course not.  By not allowing you to export your data, these services make it inconvenient for you to move to a competitor.  A formidable weapon against competitors.

Something to consider as we parachute head-first into a cloud-based future.

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