All your stuff into the cloud we control

Started by Mario, December 05, 2023, 09:27:30 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


I noticed that many applications, from Photoshop to Ms Office, now default to storing my files in their cloud.
Microsoft OneDrive showed a note that I should store all my important documents in OneDrive today. Yeah, nope!
On my smart phone, Dropbox and OneDrive and Google remind me all the time to store my photos and documents in their cloud. Oh, and to pay for a subscription to do so.

I don't wanna.

For many reasons:
+ Privacy
+ Security
+ Ownership (I own my data. Storing it in the cloud is like storing it on another person's computer)
+ I don't trust their encryption schemes
+ I don't trust Adobe or Microsoft or Google or Dropbox or ...
+ the E.U. GDPR

Don't get me wrong. I use the cloud as a 3rd-level backup.
But I only upload locally (!) encrypted data and I don't rely on stuff stored in a cloud.

Just the other week IT press reported that Google Drive has lost tons of files from tons of users. Oops.
I have not read yet that they were able to recover the data. And when the only copy you have is stored in the cloud and the cloud fails, you're f'd big time.

Or, when Google or Microsoft, for some reason, delete your user account for nebulous "terms of service violation". Which happens quite frequently, when I'm not mistaken. As far as I know, it is virtually impossible to re-activate an account.
Which means all your emails, contacts, cloud data and whatnot are gone from one second to the other.
-- Mario
IMatch Developer
Forum Administrator  -  Contact & Support - Follow me on 𝕏 - Like on Facebook


Yes, and it seems to be getting worse (more nagging).


I have an instinctive distrust of the cloud.  The techy who commissioned my computer somehow disabled OneDrive, at my request, so that this is not the default storage location.  Good idea to encrypt locally - how is that done?


Quote from: DigPeter on December 06, 2023, 12:47:59 PMGood idea to encrypt locally - how is that done?
I use  German software called Cryptomator ( on Windows and Linux for that purpose.

It basically maintains one (or more) encrypted files in a folder on your disk. This is called a vault.
When being "Unlocked" in Cryptomator, the software makes the contents of vault available as a normal drive in Windows. You see the unencrypted data in that drive.
You can work with it in Windows Explorer and all software like with any other drive (create folders, copy and move files etc.) But everything you store on that drive is written to the encrypted file in the background.
When you store the file into a folder that is monitored and synched by OneDrive / DropBox, they will upload and sync the file like any other file. But they will only ever see the encrypted data.

Cryptomator is "donor ware". You can pay a sum of your choice to support the further development.
A free alternative would be the free software VeraCrypt ( from France, which basically does the same.
-- Mario
IMatch Developer
Forum Administrator  -  Contact & Support - Follow me on 𝕏 - Like on Facebook


I too see this more and more... in fact, this just came up yesterday while I was watching a video about a music production VST that takes audio tracks of drums and auto-splices them.  The splices are then analyzed for different types of drums, and then compiled into rhythm combinations to create instant drum mixes.. really cool!  

However, the software auto-uploads the audio tracks to their server before doing its magic.. locally!  They say this allows you to "store your tracks for future use - naming and giving them icons".. but there is really no reason this needs to be done and no indication what the company is doing with the tracks!  Ugh!!


When I recall correctly, the SONY TV I've bought beginning of this year contacted over 60 (!) servers after booting, including Facebook, Google and a large number of known marketing companies and data collectors.
And one SONY server to download updates. I use a software named Pi-hole on a Raspberry Pi which allows me to track such things easily. Needless to say that the TV can only connect to the guest Wi-Fi and only every couple of months to check for updates.

I think the electronic companies make a lot of money from tracking their viewers and selling that data.
Many modern TVs contain microphones arrays and infrared cameras to allow users to control them by voice and gesture.
And to "optimize" the viewing experience, depending on how many users are currently sitting in front of the TV and which channel or stream is playing. Somewhere on page 113 of their terms of service they allow themselves to collect all that data and send it back home to "optimize their products and services"...
-- Mario
IMatch Developer
Forum Administrator  -  Contact & Support - Follow me on 𝕏 - Like on Facebook


It sure is a crazy world... the older I get - the less advanced tech I find I want to use and all this data collection and "spying" on things just makes me want to tighten things up more and more.


I like new tech when it allows me to do more stuff, stuff quicker or better.

What I don't like is enforced telemetry, constantly calling home, cloud lock-in patterns, tracking and spying
 None of these things is required to make a TV, smart phone or computer work. So?

I understand that the Internet is paid for by ads and tracking. That's one thing.
But that I have to endure and tolerate constant tracking from the TV or "smart device" I've paid for, without a way to opt out, is ridiculous.

When you buy a new TV for big money, and finally have it set up and installed, the first thing you see when you turn it on (in my case) is the agreement box for Google Android TV where you have to accept their terms of service. If you don't accept the terms of service, you cannot use the TV. You can pack it in again and send it back to wherever you've bought it. Which is a major hassle that nobody really want's to do. They are counting on that.

I hope the EU some day requires the TV vendors and Google and Apple to publish the same 120+ pages of terms of services publicly so you can inform yourself before you buy a TV. Or phone. Or washing machine.
Yes, my washing machine has an app that regularly tries to contact a dozen ad networks, including Google and Facebook (but I don't allow it). It also wants access to my phone's GPS - to "optimize" the washing program for my location. Yeah, sure...
50% of the app screen is covered in ads. And the app has two modes to tell me when the washing cycle is complete: Sending a push message or crashing ::)

Some apps/appliances now use hard-coded IP addresses to contact servers. To work-around DNS blocks people use in firewalls or ad blockers to reject access to known tracker domains.
That alone shows that they know they are doing something that's wrong and obviously against their customer's interest.

Similar to plans I've read about where they want to ship TVs with built-in sim cards. so they can track you and send data home even if the TV is not connected to the Internet.
Or they use Amazon's "Sidewalk" network, which basically creates a Wi-Fi mesh of all Amazon devices in your area. If one of the devices can connect to the Internet, data can be sent across Sidewalk, even if the sender device is not allowed to connect to the Internet. Mhm...
-- Mario
IMatch Developer
Forum Administrator  -  Contact & Support - Follow me on 𝕏 - Like on Facebook