Cloud computing is going to cause a spate of horrible problems as data owners lose control of their information, according to the co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak.
Wozniak, who co-founded the world's most valuable company with the late Steve Jobs, was speaking after a performance of The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, a two-hour monologue about working conditions at Apple's Chinese factories.
In comments reported by the Australian Daily Telegraph, among others, he said: "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."
Wozniak said users were effectively handing control of their data to providers.
"With the cloud, you don't own anything. You've already signed it away through the legalistic terms of service with a cloud provider that computer users must agree to," he said.
His fears are echoed by Computing's research*, which found that 55 per cent of IT decision-makers cited loss of control as a key concern of moving over to the cloud.
"I want to feel that I own things; a lot of people feel, 'Oh, everything is really on my computer,' but I say the more we transfer everything onto the web, onto the cloud, the less we're going to have control over it," Wozniak said.
Wozniak's fear of "signing it away through the legalistic terms of service" could be interpreted as a fear of vendor lock-in. Computing research** has also found that for 38 per cent of IT decision-makers, vendor lock-in was one of their biggest cloud security concerns.
His fears follow several public cloud outages affecting the likes of Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Salesforce.com.
* Computing research of 100 IT decision-makers at UK SMEs, March 2012
** Computing research of 104 enterprise IT decision-makers, October 2011
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A discussion of the "risk perception gap", its implications and how it can be closed