Image via Wikipedia
I started this as a comment to Krish’s post on the mental shift SaaS brings about, then realized I should make it a post on it’s own right: short, but important.
Krish reflects on the recent Wall Street Journal: Do You Know Where Your Data Are?, and in his response mostly deals with the data security / availability issues brought about by Cloud Computing.
The WSJ article made another good point: privacy, how your data is used, and misleading vendor information around it:
Basically, a company shouldn’t be able to say one thing and do another: sell used goods as new, lie on ingredients lists, advertise prices that aren’t generally available, claim features that don’t exist, and so on.
I think there are three distinct levels of just how bad the situation is:
- Worst: explicitly misleading TOS, i.e. vendor says it won’t mine your data and it does. This should be criminal.
- Worse: silence – simply not disclosing how they will mine and reuse data at all.
- Bad: half-honesty – disclosing all possible uses but burying it under lengthy legalese that corporate legal departments can decode, but consumers won’t.
We assure you that the contents of your Account will not be disclosed to anyone and will not be accessible to employees of […] Neither do we process the contents of your Account for serving targeted advertisements.
Plain and simple. As it should be in all TOS.