European Data Protection and Cloud Business Models on a Collision Course

November 26, 2012

By Doug Miller

Last week I attended the Europe Data Protection Congress 2012 in Brussels hosted by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). After three days of attending sessions, listening to some of the best-known European experts speak about data protection and privacy, and talking to dozens of other attendees, I walked away with one very clear observation: European data protection interests are on a collision course with the current business models of companies such as Facebook and Google which rely on personal data to thrive.
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Office 365 web access still broken

August 18, 2012

By Jeff Gould

I’ve blogged several times about my frustrations using Microsoft’s Outlook Web Access (OWA) as an interface to Office 365 (see my friend and co-blogger Doug Miller’s defense of Office 365 here). I subject myself to the discipline of using OWA instead of the vastly superior Outlook thick client – which I used for years as a front-end to Gmail – because I want to experience at first hand the reality of an all-cloud approach to email.

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Can you hear me now?

August 17, 2012

By Doug Miller
Cape Flattery
As we all become more and more reliant on devices that are constantly connected to the cloud and each other it is always a wake-up call to lose connectivity to the rest of the world for a period of time.

I went through that this week when I was out in the Cape Flattery area where I was scuba diving and doing some fish surveys with REEF.org.

My first surprise was that I had no cell coverage. I have AT&T for both my Titan II Windows Phone and my Android-based Galaxy Tab. Despite the AT&T coverage map showing good coverage where I was staying, there was absolutely no signal to be found anyway in the area.
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Is Wozniak really wrong?

August 7, 2012

By Doug Miller

Steve Wozniak’s recent comments on how cloud computing is going to cause “lot of horrible problems in the next five years” and comments such as…

with the cloud, you don’t own anything. You already signed it away

… has sparked wide-ranging commentary in the media and blogosphere.

One of the more interesting reactions was one published by David Linthicum on InfoWorld in an article titled “Wozniak is wrong about cloud computing.”

One of the points Mr. Linthicum makes is…

I suspect he’s referring more to consumer-oriented clouds and social networking sites that leverage your information in exchange for use of their services.

Both of these folks raise some valid points. However, to Mr. Wozniak’s claims, if you go with the right cloud solutions with the right privacy agreements and terms of services, the data ownership and protection issues should be properly addressed – right? Mr. Linthicum’s point that this is more about consumer-oriented clouds raises questions as well.

Is Wozniak right or wrong? The answer may be within our control.
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Using Google Apps? What You Need to Know

April 4, 2012

By Doug Miller

If you are a paying Google Apps for Government, Business or Education customer like me, you have probably been following all the coverage on how Google’s new privacy policy may or may not impact you. There is a lot of conflicting information coming from bloggers, law makers, Google themselves and others on what applies to whom.

I’d like to offer three observations from reviewing my Google Apps privacy terms and what appears to be in effect now. For readers that are not aware, Google offers about 70 consumer products such as Google Search, Picasa, Gmail and YouTube that are covered by a consumer-oriented set of terms. Google also offers 7 of its services (such as Gmail and Google Docs) under the Google Apps program for business, education and government customers. The use of these products is covered by a different terms of service. Business and government customers pay Google an annual per user fee for the use of these products. Education customers can sign up for these apps for free.
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