Perils of cloud computing

Dangers of Cloud Solutions

On June 27, 2011, Facebook blocked all applications using KDE Plugins. Facebook also invoked access to all photos that had previously been uploaded using any KDE-based application. KDE users saw the “Facebook Call Failed: Invalid API key” error. The details of the issue can be found at “KDE Bug Tracking System Bug 276609”.

One issue that arises is that of trust in an online portal to handle important information.

Many people trust their information to be easily accessible. This article is not bashing Facebook or other online storage providers. The article aims to remind users to not blindly trust cloud computing.


In the particular case involving the KDE plugins, a mistake occurred where KDE applications were filtered as spam. After an appeal was submitted, the applications’s access was reactivated on “Facebook Bug Tracker Bug 18701”. After some time had passed, previously uploaded photographs appeared.


Many people use services due to their ease of use and popularity. When the service is no longer popular, people move on to the next “big thing”. Free services have costs and will always be more concerned with members who pay. A service that is free and popular today could be gone tomorrow along with its members’ information.

Protect Your Content

There are many ways in which your content can be secured. Make a local backup for times when the Internet is inaccessible. Think of cloud computing services as temporary storage even if you pay for a service.

Make sure that the service you use will allow you to make a last backup after you terminate your membership. Keep updated on all policy and privacy changes with your cloud-computing provider.


You favourite cloud-computing provider can revoke access at any time without warning. Stay abreast of all policy changes of the service provider. Be prepared to move to another provider at a moments notice.

Paying for cloud computing does not provide immunity from sudden disruptions. Mistakes can occur such as when content is deleted. Make a local backup before using an online storage service.


  1. Do not wait to change providers in cases of breach of user trust.
  2. Select and appropriate online storage provider not based on popularity alone.
  3. Think of cloud computing services as temporary online storage.