You DO NOT Have Property Rights Over Your Data on the Cloud

This is not going to be a long post today because it does not need to be.

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/11/02/1737219/us-government-you-dont-own-your-cloud-data-so-we-can-access-it-at-any-time

In part I quote below from this article.

“But in addition, the government’s approach should terrify any user of cloud computer services—not to mention the providers.  The government maintains that Mr. Goodwin lost his property rights in his data by storing it on a cloud computing service.  Specifically, the government argues that both the contract between Megaupload and Mr. Goodwin (a standard cloud computing contract) and the contract between Megaupload and the server host, Carpathia (also a standard agreement), “likely limit any property interest he may have” in his data.  (Page 4). If the government is right, no provider can both protect itself against sudden losses (like those due to a hurricane) and also promise its customers that their property rights will be maintained when they use the service. Nor can they promise that their property might not suddenly disappear, with no reasonable way to get it back if the government comes in with a warrant. Apparently your property rights “become severely limited” if you allow someone else to host your data under standard cloud computing arrangements. This argument isn’t limited in any way to Megaupload — it would apply if the third party host was Amazon’s S3 or Google Apps or or Apple iCloud.  ”

Can I say with confidence now and beyond any shred of doubt any company like Dassault and Autodesk who are going to soon demand that you place your  data online in the cloud are bald-faced liars when they say it will be done securely and never to worry. There is not one single thing they can say to this except to put in their EULAs a bunch of legal jargon to prevent themselves from liability when problems arise. Please note I said when not if.

Oh, and for the records sake I once again ask any qualified rep from Dassault or Autodesk to prove me wrong here. Indeed anyone from anywhere please and I will be quick to post what you say and give you an apology and stop writing about all this. Your cloud is just hostage taking greed to get into your customers pockets with a business model they will have a hard time escaping from and you can’t prove the viability or security of it and I await your replies.  I wonder how these companies who portray the cloud as your workplace savior for your secure storage of the lifeblood of your companies cad data can even stand there with straight faces and tell you everything is all right. These paragons of corporate integrity who back up nothing they say with guarantees.

Companies come and go and have their shares of legal problems. You as a legitimate customer of a cloud service are now an unwilling participant in whatever may come down the pike and this new-found jeopardy is particularly pernicious. Let me put this in real world terms. From data theft, data seizure, down time, poor internet data bandwidths and on and on there is now the ability of the, oh lets the Chinese government, to legally seize a cloud farm and all that is in it. Hey, if the US can do it don’t kid yourself by thinking other countries won’t do it too.

I would go further and say that anything that is not on your own private network is vulnerable and sad to say that also includes now all PLM and related products that have to work over public ISP’s and utilize a server farm not owned directly by your software company. I recognise the value of PLM and I know it has to use the cloud in many cases to work. But I also think anyone who goes there should be told of the risks by the software company that wants them to go there. Furthermore companies who wish to use the cloud need to be aware and make plans accordingly and be willing to lose all intellectual property they have stored there. It is after all not yours anymore is it.

These cloud vendors do have a consistent pattern and it is one of evasion and lack of real world examples of success. I am of the opinion that only a fool would do this to his company and over time will reap the rewards of being one.

Any of you cloud vendors care to reflect upon the good deal you are offering users? Dassault, Autodesk perhaps you might have a word for your customers?

2 responses to “You DO NOT Have Property Rights Over Your Data on the Cloud

  1. We’ll probably have to watch Siemens very closely, too, although you didn’t mention them specifically as being cloud-based PLM. Their press release would state otherwise, though, including their partnering with Amazon S3.
    http://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/en_us/about_us/newsroom/press/press_release.cfm?Component=204225&ComponentTemplate=822&stc=wwiia420001

    • Hi Scott, Indeed this is true for Siemens PLM stuff and this is why I specifically mentioned PLM even though I did not mention Siemens. I hope people understand I do put Siemens into this problem child category to at least where PLM is concerned and that is why I said any cloud using PLM is a serious breach of common sense and security. I will go further and state that the day Siemens even gives me a hint I will be forced to the cloud in any way the war is on. At this time the only cloud involvement anyone has to have with SE and the cloud is voluntary and through the PLM side of things. The big difference between Siemens and Autodesk/Dassault is that I don’t see plans for cloud hostage taking on the CAD side of things with Siemens and it is the stated goal of the other guys.

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