I’m not afraid to say it, mostly because I know I’m not alone in the matter. It may be appealing to some people to think they can store or access or perhaps even “process” with the Internet as the host, but it’s nothing I’ll ever rely on.
Privacy is my main concern. I know for a fact, from firsthand experience, that most of the “hosting services” — especially GMail, to pick on that example — regularly screen and/or access the information, and use it for their own purposes. That alone is enough to dispel any illusion I may have, personally, about privacy or respect for information. I acknowledged that in the terms of service when I opened the account though, so I don’t complain. I am just aware of the fact, and work around it when necessary.
But of equal concern to me is the idea that there is a longer string of hardware requirements for using “the cloud,” when compared to keeping my software and data locally. One hiccup in the chain between my computer and the Internet host, and the entire idea falls flat. I lived through the era of dumb terminals and trust me, nobody really liked it. I shudder at the idea of going back.
I suppose, as a Linux advocate, I should acknowledge the obvious fact that the gooey love-fest over cloud computing is really just an overture toward putting corporations in a better position to manhandle licensing and usage restrictions. It’s much easier, for example, for Microsoft to control who uses their software, if it’s not being managed at the individual level. But the point is tertiary at best for me, so I worry very little about that fact.
The sad truth is that the Internet loves its glossy, shiny new ideas, and the more hype I hear and see about any particular catchphrase, then less likely I am to embrace it. The push toward the cloud is just the latest in a long list of things I will probably avoid, until my personal concerns are met.