Opinion

By Séamus Smyth

This past month the demi-Gods of the 21st century, Apple Co. released its latest innovation titled, “the Cloud App.” It allows you, me, Mom, Dad and every other warm-blooded mammal to stock any and all content on a server hosted by everyone’s favourite platonic fruit.

“CloudApp allows you to share images, links, music, videos and files. Here is how it works: choose a file, drag it to the menu bar and let us take care of the rest,” is how the Apple dream team described their latest tool to make one’s life easier (Apple, 2011, para. 1).

This product clearly alleviates the pressure off of sometimes limited hard drives and certainly eliminates the nightmare scenario of losing a flash drive while on route to an important function, meeting, class etc.

However, as fine and dandy as the current czars of the technological world have made it sound, users must ponder the incredible risks that a service such as this delivers.  While Facebook and email clearly leave one’s personal information vulnerable to the prying eyes of tech-savvy thieves and hackers, the potential jackpot of information that rests in one’s puffy, bulging cloud is titanic.

Imagine if major corporations begin storing their personal documents on these cozy lily pads simply because they can access them from anywhere in the world, whether they are utilizing an Apple PC or their Android cellphone. It is cliché, but the thought of this information falling into the hands of any one of the growing number of fraudulent individuals could cause mind-hemorrhaging headaches and debut an entire new argument over Internet privacy and copyright.

RIM, the founders of the ubiquitous BlackBerry cellphone, recently had an unprecedented three-day failure where cellphones couldn’t send text messages, access the Internet etc. Yes, the world continued to sit on its axis and society managed to bare through the cellular pandemic, but what would the reaction be if in ten years from now the CloudApp decided to call in sick for a lengthy stretch?

We so eagerly embrace these so-called advances, yet hardly ever contemplate the potential risk involved.

It is quite possible that these clouds could be more literal than at first thought.  Although they appear secure and stable, even the most petite object could sail through one without a whimper and land in a precarious location.  It is something to consider before we all eagerly shoot our head in the clouds like a pack of hungry giraffes and become educated on what were to happen if this digitally-enhanced sky ever decided to fall.

Advertisements