If Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is to be believed, the information we store online could put us in some serious trouble in the years to come. The 61-year-old Wozniak made that prediction at a recent public discussion following the Washington-based performance of “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.”
Here’s a cloud computing tutorial: it involves uploading information from physical media storage devices — like internal and external hard drives and USB data sticks — to remote servers. Many tech users and software companies see this as a hugely beneficial idea, since it gives everyone the ability to back up their sensitive data in a quick and efficient manner and then access it later from any computer.
However, the question is: are we exposing ourselves by taking all of that very important and private data and then putting it in a place that can be accessed by hackers or the very companies responsible for storing it?
Mr. Wozniak, who created the first Apple computer and helped form the Apple Computer company alongside Steve Jobs in 1976, certainly thinks so.
“I really worry about everything going to the cloud,” he said. “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.”
“With the cloud, you don’t own anything…I want to feel that I own things.”
In effect, Wozniak feels we’re giving up control of our sensitive information by putting it online. Realistically, people need to ask themselves if they trust companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Google — all of which have their own cloud storage services — as much as the bank that stores their money.
Most people would appear to feel fairly comfortable about their decision to store data online. But Wozniak is almost certainly correct that these services will face more and more serious security threats as the amount of information they hold grows over time.