Privacy and distant storage

Some people seem to think that their data is only safe in their own homes. I agree that not keeping a local copy or storing unprotected personal documents on a machine you don't control are bad things. But I was reminded today (while trolling on Numerama, a French tech-related news site) that having them home doesn't make them safe from:

Of course, if your home burns, loosing your files will be the least of your concerns, but if you know they are safe it is one less thing to worry about.

Then I realized that having backups in different geographic places does not necessarily endanger your privacy, it just depends on how you do it. What you need is to encrypt and/or cut the data so that the people who will store it for you will not be able to read or exploit it (just like Freenet does for different reasons).

So the next question is where to store it ? I came to see three possibilities:

I believe, like many others, that a good place for such sharing software is in residential gateways, maybe we'll see it implemented someday in the Freedom Box ?




Posted by
on 22/07/2011 at 18:18 (CEST)
wuala is a good technology to do that, unfortunately it's in java (like freenet...) and it is, in large part, proprietary.

There is another risk with local storage: a compromise of the local machine. It is typically a Windows box, unmanaged and often compromised by malware. Most malwares today send spam or perform dDoS but we could see in the future "data stealing" malware (like Duqu or Flame).

This risk is not easy to manage: encryption does not help if the local machine is compromised.

I used once a genomic service online, which analyzed your genome from a biological sample and stored it online. You have the right to download the genome on your machine (otherwise, I would never have considered using such a service) but it requires several Web screens with "Are you sure?" messages explaining this risk. (Of course, I have no idea of the actual security of the online service.)

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