Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is uncertain about the future of cloud-based computing, with users having limited ownership and control over their information stored on cloud systems noted as a particular concern.
Speaking to AFP after his performance in Mike Daisey’s The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs – a two-hour monologue performance exploring Apple manufacturers’ labour conditions in China – Steve Wozniak envisioned “horrible problems” for cloud users.
“I really worry about everything going to the cloud,” Wozniak 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.”
The current legalities of cloud-based computing mean users do not have control over the location of acquired property; files could be removed, copied or distributed at the discretion of the cloud host.
The advantages of cloud-based storage – offsite and accessible from multiple devices – are in privacy terms its weaknesses.
“With the cloud, you don’t own anything. You already signed it away,” Wozniak said. “The more we transfer everything onto the web, onto the cloud, the less we’re going to have control over it.”
Mike Daisey was widely criticised earlier this year after his admission that he fabricated parts of a report into working conditions in a number of Foxconn factories. Daisey had claimed to see armed Foxconn guards, over-crowded dorm rooms, underage workers and employees toxin poisoning while assembling iPhones, but later retracted these claims describing them as “theatre”.
Wozniak’s concerns came just a day after Wired reporter Mat Honan’s iCloud account was attacked, with perpetrators wiping his Mac, iPhone and iPad and posting offensive messages from his Twitter account.