Steve Wozniak Predicts Doom for the Cloud

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak sees a coming apocalypse and he’s is worried. Does the creator of the Apple computer see zombies lumbering about, eating brains and destroying the world? Maybe on AMC.  But the genius affectionately known as “The Woz,” sees a host of problems lurking with technology’s current obsession with putting everything in the cloud and he thinks there are “horrible problems” coming in the future as a result.

“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.”

Visiting the two hour performance of “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” in Washington, DC.  Wozniak joined in on a post play discussion on all things Apple related and touched on such sensitive topics as Steve Jobs and the problems with workers in China.  But what really got the audiences attention was Wozniak’s prediction that users who solely rely on cloud based storage may find that they no longer own the images, videos and documents they upload to their Cloud provider.

Cloud computing is where users forsake storing data locally on either hard drives or backup CDs, in favor of remote data servers located across the country or even around the world.  The idea being that with the Cloud, servers can be automatically backed up and accessed anywhere.  And having an off site backup option is a very good idea and should be part of a comprehensive backup strategy.  But when it comes to complicated terms of service (which, lets face it, nobody ever reads), the devil is in the details and that’s what is bothering Woz.

Referring to draconian terms of service which are boilerplate legal agreements designed to not only protect providers, but also give them potential ancillary revenue with no approval from the original data owners, Wozniak warned that putting precious data into the cloud means that users are unknowingly giving away their rights to that data.  “With the cloud, you don’t own anything,” said Woz.  “You already signed it away through the legalistic terms of service with a cloud provider that computer users must agree to. I say the more we transfer everything onto the web, onto the cloud, the less we’re going to have control over it.”

Wozniak, who not only co-founded Apple Computer, but also designed and built the first few models, left Apple after twelve years and spent time doing a variety of things from teaching elementary school, to even dancing on ABCs Dancing with the Stars.  Sounds like he’s living life to the fullest, but he’s also cognoscent that his words still have impact when he speaks out.

Upon commenting on the part of the play which talks about Apple’s use of a low cost labor force in China and the long hours which have prompted many to commit suicide.   Woz citied current improvements taken by Apple manufacturing partner FoxConn to improve working conditions and stated that he expects those conditions to get better as time goes on.   Woz then, presumably, pointed out the hypocrisy of buying Apple products and then turning a blind eye to negative conditions of those who build them.   “We know we have a voice. We can speak about labor conditions,” added Woz, “but we can’t act like, oh, Foxconn is bad or Apple is bad.”

Hat Tip – Yahoo Canada

About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.

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