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Is Dropbox a privacy revolution?
By Dave Winer on Friday, July 08, 2011 at 11:01 AM.

Writing on GigaOm, Derrick Harris asks if Dropbox's changes to their user agreement will create pressure for other tech companies to do the same. #

I don't know -- maybe it makes a difference that the FTC was looking at their user agreement before all the changes came about. Maybe Dropbox is so much bigger than the others, maybe that makes the difference.  #

But they are not leading here, not by a long shot. #

Microsoft and Amazon already offer better terms than Dropbox. I don't see why Dropbox doesn't just copy them. Very clear on the limits on what they can do with your data. So if anyone is doing the leading here, I'd say it's Microsoft and Amazon. #

What I'm looking for here is a a consumerish product with enterprise-like service. Happy to pay for the service, in fact I insist on paying. The kind of service I want is one you pay for.  #

I like Dropbox's ease-of-use. Always have. I declared it product of the decade, for a reason -- not because I like them (or don't, I don't know the people there). I did it because they have a great product. #

That said, if there were a really simple box I could buy from Amazon that added a file server to my LAN that "just worked" -- that could be accessed from my servers in the Rackspace and Amazon clouds, you know what -- I'd buy it immediately.  #

I thought my old Asus netbook might be perfect for it, but you can't put a password on shared folders on the version of XP they include with it. Amazingly lame. I've tried setting up one of my Macs here, and same problem -- I can access the volume from my Windows servers without a password. WTF. #

Meanwhile I'm looking at Wuala and SpiderOak, along with others in the community at scripting.com. #

To GigaOm, this industry needs more than a privacy revolution. It needs to begin understanding that their users have legitimate needs to keep their data safe. #

I'm reminded of the time, in 2007, when I went into an Apple store in Emeryville to get a new hard drive for my Mac laptop, and they wouldn't let me have my old drive back. The one with all the passwords on it, and account numbers. Eventually I did get it back, but I had to write a letter to Steve Jobs and talk with someone in his office. It was a huge privacy issue. I'm sure it's happened to many other people, for all I know it's still happening.  #

BTW, product advocacy has always been an issue in the comments on blogs. People appear to love the products or hate the products. It's a fine line between emotional advocacy and spam. I'm getting tougher on the line. If you make Dropbox or competitive products a moral issue, I'm calling it spam. It doesn't belong here. I honestly think sometimes the companies hire consultants to shut down discussions of their product that they don't like. Even if they don't -- I'm interested in shedding light, not casting shadows. :-) #

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