Reply to post: Re: Isn't that what "The Cloud" is all about?

Microsoft menaced with GDPR mega-fines in Europe for 'large scale and covert' gathering of people's info via Office

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: Isn't that what "The Cloud" is all about?

I'm quite sure that the people who designed these products never intended for customer's data to be visible to the company, they just want to provide users with a useful product while incidentally locking them into their subscription business model.

Long ago, when MS took over Hotmail, I had a look at the T&Cs. It was quite clearly written in there that MS considered themselves to own the copyright and any other rights to all material that went through HM's servers. IIRC it's where I first saw the importance of being aware of what these things say before you hand over your valuable (or not) data.

Stuff like this very strongly suggests all along that the intention was for the information to be fully visible and utilised by MS, otherwise why make it even remotely possible for such information to be accessed, and why make the irrelevant information get stored rather than deleted after use? I can understand a translation service using more than just the sentence in question to get a better idea of the context of the topic, but the moment the translated text is returned the lot should be removed from the servers. After that point there is no ethical reason to keep it.

It's not that hard to code stuff from an intention of being rid of unwanted information and only keeping what is absolutely necessary, and it's fairly easy to code with a view of "destroy by default" and only add in stuff as it becomes clear it's needed. MS has no excuse in this.

Personally, I regard cloud based applications with a lot of suspicion.

A good way to go. With the likes of Nextcloud you can do a lot of that on your own, with some inspection of the code (and plugins). Always keep your own copies of the data, and give careful consideration to stuff involving other's privacy. (how does GDPR get around off-site backups and the like?)

(I also don't get this penchant for shaking down - fining -- ... I'm no fan of that company and its products, but just turning a blind eye to this because 'they deserve it' or 'they can afford it' really isn't a good idea.)

Make the penalty for a crime low, and crime can flourish. This is seen often, just look at the amount of traffic violations such as using phones while driving. Sometimes for a law to be effective the punishment has to hurt. Used to be around these parts that rich people would speed with impunity because they could afford the fines. Then the demerit points system was brought in, and now while they can afford the fines they will eventually lose their license if they get caught too often.

MS and other large corps can often easily afford the fines in many of these laws. It's been claimed that various companies will continue breaking the law and paying daily fines that're worth millions if the behaviour is worth 10s of millions. So make the punishments effective.

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