Sorry, Apple; I Cannot Trust iCloud

When it comes to cloud storage services there are many from which to choose, only a few that get chosen, and as of now, not one that I can trust, including Apple’s much maligned and overly expensive iCloud.

It’s not that I don’t trust cloud services. I trust them. Barely. It’s not that I don’t use cloud services. I do. But not for anything critical. Regarding iCloud, how can I trust Apple’s own service when Apple doesn’t trust cloud services enough to roll their very own. That’s right. Apple uses other cloud services for iCloud.

Trust, But Verify

A couple of weeks ago a chunk of the internet fell into the sea, thanks to a rather small but significant error on the part of Amazon S3 cloud storage (disclosure: Mac360 uses Amazon S3 to store images and has for years with very few outages). Significant? The outages were so severe and so prolonged they made the news and Amazon received a much deserved public black eye.

It’s a well known fact that Apple uses Amazon cloud storage for iCloud and other services, and while Amazon S3 and other services were out, so were some of Apple’s. Wait. If you cannot trust Apple or Amazon or Google or other giants of the cloud industry, then who can you trust?

Nobody. Ever.

Well, almost nobody. And almost never.

The reality is this. We don’t have much of a choice except to trust and verify, and that means multiple backups of critical data on different platforms or locations, continual monitoring of cloud services, and alternatives to secure cloud data in the event of a catastrophic failure (such as; theft, hurricane, fire, tornado, earthquake, cosmic event, Amazon employee with fat fingers).

Sorry, Apple. I want to trust iCloud; I really do.

But until you roll your own data centers from one end of planet earth to the other, and until there’s a decade of non-interrupted service for one billion earthlings who use iCloud and other services, I’m forced to find alternatives, and that means multiple platforms, multiple services, multiple methods of monitoring data integrity.

I wish it were not that way.

I want to trust Apple with my data, but viewing the cloud landscape tells me that no one can be trusted, and I cannot roll my own cloud or store my own data in ways that are safe from natural forces, federal agents, hackers, criminals, et al., so I’m forced to spread the wealth. That means I store data at home, in the office, online, offline, and in my dreams. That means multiple backups for everything storable, and all that combined means I have extra time and effort devoted to setting up each locale, monitoring each setup, and ensuring integrity to myself, not anyone else.

Sorry, Apple. I cannot trust iCloud.

There have been too many instances of failure. But don’t feel bad. You’re not alone. Google cannot be trusted, either. The same goes for Microsoft, private cloud storage services, Amazon, or others, regardless of how big or modern or sophisticated their infrastructure is; Murphy’s Law happens.

It’s not you, Apple. It’s me.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from a decade of online storage it’s that I’m the only one I can trust, and I trust me so much I have secured my personal data in multiple locations and taken on the added responsibility of managing and monitoring, and monitoring the monitors.

I wish it were not that sad reality, but it is.






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