Terms of Service; Didn’t Read is a site that gives you a very compact summary of the terms of your favorite websites and services. There are some surprises in there but Google isn’t one of them – we already know that they have a direct line to our brains.
It’s difficult to strike a balance between privacy and usefulness. Google is getting a lot of data from me but I get a lot of convenience in return. I could also set up a lot of the services on a server of my own, using for instance Kolab.
Benefit: privacy and control over my data.
Drawback: I suddenly become responsible for uptime, security, backups, and a lot of geeky challenges.
Note: Before you run off to install your own cloud solution, you’ll need to face another important decision: Which tool do you choose?
I have half a plan to set up a home server that runs either Kolab or something comparable, but as always, other real-life tasks are more important and/or urgent so this is a project for those “long winter nights.”
In my last post, I voiced the opinion that it can make sense to find software you like and run your own service on a computer you control. The benefit of doing that is independence — not having to rely on others. In light of the current PRISM scandal, it turns out that running your own software has another advantage: freedom in terms of privacy. Continue reading ‘Independence, freedom, and privacy’
Along with the outcry after Google’s announcement to kill their popular Reader service, people have started to realize the danger of using online services. Yes, they’re incredibly convenient, and they’re often free, but they do have a cost all the same. That cost is risk: online services are outside your control. It follows that any data you place in these services are also outside your control!
Essentially, we are trading convenience for risk. How much risk are we willing to accept? Have we ever considered how much risk we can afford to accept?
Continue reading ‘Can you afford to rely on free services?’