Friday, April 2, 2010

Trust the Cloud?

By choice and necessity we increasingly use cloud computing to process and store information about us—from pictures to credit card numbers. The worst case scenarios of such reliance include identity theft and fraud. But there are lesser irritants, two of which affected me with no apparent reason or cause.

In the space of a few weeks my most frequent used car rental company “DNRed” me. They decided—or more likely a computer decided—that I was no longer credit worthy. So in one calculation I migrated from an “elite” frequent renter, to a deadbeat. After repeated calls to the company to identify who could correct the mistake, I was reinstated. But absolutely no one could explain how such a thing could have happened.

Cloud confusion event two occurred on a recent trip. A major German airline determined that my wife and I were blind. Okay I get the cosmic message in this, but a representative who unsuccessfully gave us back our sight noted that some human had to have inserted blindness into the record. The cloud would not relent: one each segment my wife and I were invited by name to “pre-board.” We may still be blind.

Trust but attempt to verify what the cloud knows about you.

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