The Great and Powerful Woz has decreed that the "cloud is a nightmare."
What is the "cloud?" Cloud computing is an extension of the internet that allows for end users and companies to store files and other digital assets on remote servers. Because the assets are stored remotely, storage and maintenance of the relevant hardware is maintained by an external source. Cloud computing entrusts services with a user’s data, software and computation over a network.
From its inception, cloud computing was regarded as a two edged sword, the advantages of having third parties store and allocate resources from a digital assets management perspective were apparent, but so were the risks of having data stored on a remote server in the first place.
Speaking after a performance of a one-man Steve Jobs show by Mike Daisey called “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” in Washington,, Steve Wozniak made clear his feelings regarding the increasing prominence of cloud computing. Wozniak summed up his feelings thusly: “I really worry about everything going to the cloud. I think it’s going to be horrendous. I think there are going to be a lot of horrible problems in the next five years.”
Woz explained just how the legalities of the cloud would make human beings lives even more painful: “With the cloud, you don’t own anything. You already signed it away.” He added: “The more we transfer everything onto the web, onto the cloud, the less we’re going to have control over it.”
Like any new technology that is introduced, there are always those who will surpass the security measures for their own nefarious purposes. Cloud computing is no different. As a case in point, Matt Honan claims that he recently had his digital life dissolved by hackers due to insufficient security practices in an article titled: How Apple and Amazon Security Flaws Led to My Epic Hacking
But what happened to me exposes vital security flaws in several customer service systems, most notably Apple’s and Amazon’s. Apple tech support gave the hackers access to my iCloud account. Amazon tech support gave them the ability to see a piece of information -a partial credit card number -that Apple used to release information.
In short, the very four digits that Amazon considers unimportant enough to display in the clear on the web are precisely the same ones that Apple considers secure enough to perform identity verification. The disconnect exposes flaws in data management policies endemic to the entire technology industry, and points to a looming nightmare as we enter the era of cloud computing and connected devices.