Dropbox, data ownership, who cares?
I work in the “hosting content” business and maybe what’s obvious for me is not that obvious for the average user: nothing is free. If you don’t pay for your 2GB of storage, you have to wonder how the provider pays his own bills! So when a provider doesn’t ask you for money, he asks for something else. The right to use your data the way they want, for example. Displaying targetted advertisements is another example.
So who cares? I thought that “nearly nobody” was the right answer, until I saw a huge number of messages on Twitter saying “today I close my Dropbox account, I disagree with their new TOS”. Actually, it seems that “a few people” care. See also blog posts Put it in the Cloud? Are You Nuts?, Oh Dropbox, We Loved You Once…, I’ve deleted my Dropbox account or the less “panic” style Dropbox, cloud storage, and who owns your files?
For example, if you want to share your photos, publicly or privately, what’s the solution if you want to keep your full right of use on your own photos?
- host it by yourself. You can use a software like Piwigo: download it from Piwigo.org (Zenphoto or Menalto Gallery are also fine)
- if you don’t want to host it by yourself, you can open an account on Piwigo.com: this is not free, that’s €39/year, but we don’t use your data.
In the end I think that “no so many people” care, but we hear them on Twitter, and it’s good to know that some solutions exist for them.