Call me a Luddite. Call me a skeptic. But am I the only one (or one of the few) who sees the looming catastrophe waiting to happen? All these iClouds being created are just asking for some basement-bound hacker to come along with a needle-like piece of code to burst forth all the valuable data that the lemmings of the world willingly put “out there” in the digital wilderness.
Sure we have Facebook and Twitter, and the like, that have all our personal information. But identity theft aside, we don’t leave our business documents, private data, and personal records sitting on public shelves for all and sundry to take a peek at.
Although I’m an avid Apple supporter (since the early 90’s) I have this nagging feeling that Steve is leading us (leash in hand) towards an Apple-State of Big Brother the likes of which Orwell never imagined. Why the likes of which Orwell never imagined? Because slowly, pixel by pixel, we are being locked into technology we think looks fantastic and cool (which it does); but without us realising it, and in a few years time, we will not be able to detach ourselves from the shackles of an Apple device – there will not be a red pill or a blue pill option.
With the latest Final Cut as an example, Apple are able to make sweeping upgrades that hem a user into their style of workflow. Will the next versions of the Apple OS refuse any other method of storage other than from the iCloud? Will it decide what it will allow you to access, delete, copy, forward on to another user? Will it decide what it allows on its server?
What if Steve and Mark have a full-blown falling out and Mr Apple decides to remove your Facebook app from your iPad? If Twitter gives Apple the #hashtag and sells to Microsoft? If coke suddenly tastes like the other cola can you switch providers? Sometimes I think the Chinese government is more flexible than the best laid plans (and intentions) of Apple. Apple is a leader of creative innovation yet they want you to be creative within their “box”. How much longer will it be “Think Different”? “Think Like Us” possibly?
The word that I’m leaning towards here is “Control”. Where will this element of control lie? With the user or with the iCloud?
I’m in favour of the “user”.
Let’s leave the traditional hackers in the basement for a moment gushing over their Sony data trophies and look at the hardcore data-terrorists. Build it (a server farm in one location, and tell everyone where it is) and it will come (a well-aimed missile). No more server-farm. No more data. Backups? Hmm. “We do hourly backups on all our servers.” Where? Next door? Oh you mean the pile of smoking rubble a continent away!
The fact is that Apple seems to have dodged the hacker projectiles because they don’t come across as arrogant dictators trying to monopolise our computer systems. But will that perception change in the ADHD minds of the keyboard-happy anarchists? When will they say “Enough, Bill, I mean, Steve!”
Where will your data be on that day?
Will the next version of 9/11 be on our data as opposed to our people? And how much devastation could that cause to economies around the globe that entrust their data to a wispy ideal in the sky?
Call me old-fashioned, but I seem to be able to store my data just fine. No help required. Memory stick. Portable hard drive. DVD or CD (OMG). Paper (sorry trees).
I welcome any comments to sway my scepticism…