Re: 'tell us the 'data-monster' dies'
What would make their demise interesting would be how people will get years of stuff they've uploaded back out of the platforms, or maybe, like MySpace and Orkut, they'll just hang around like dusty old attics.
Well, in a catastrophic event, like a bankruptcy, the bills don't get paid, the servers get turned off, and then all the assets get sold. Chances of seeing your data again from those servers = nil. But that's unlikely, and I'd guess that these giants will fade away, there would be plenty of chance to get your data out, and advanced warning of a controlled cessation of services. Ignore the warnings, though, and your data goes.
A related question, is what happens to your cloudy data if another corporation buys the fading business and therefore has access to all the unencrypted data within it. Ignoring any theoretical rights, what PRACTICAL rights will users have regarding their data and privacy? The data is probably already held outside the EU, the original agreements with the service provider may or may not carry over, there may be no opportunity for redress through any fair legal system or arbitration route. The buyer could well be
intending to ream out every cent of value by abusing the data for all it is worth. Potentially, the buyer could be a non-investor owned corporation with very low transparency, possibly allied to (eg) the Chinese government, and their behaviour might make people think Google had behaved like a saint....