Providers of Cloud Storage services are working on to simplify the life of users even more. Services such as Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and SugarSync are trying to get a shift in how users deal with content on a daily basis.
In this technologically advanced world, it is important for users to be productive every hour. And what cloud storage does is- it lets users make things easier by accessing pictures, movies, music, and important documents at any place, any time.
All users need to do is- pay a sound monthly fee!
Although these services store almost everything users need, but within the limitations of their own policies and restrictions.
Among all, it is noted that Microsoft’s SkyDrive turns out to the most restrictive of all.
Let’s take a look at first two parts of the Windows Live code of Conduct for SkyDrive:
You will not upload, post, transmit, transfer, distribute, or facilitate distribution of any content (including text, images, sound, video, data, information or software) or otherwise use the service in a way that:
• depicts nudity of any sort, including full or partial human nudity, or nudity in nonhuman forms such as cartoons, fantasy art or manga.
• incites, advocates, or expresses pornography, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity, hatred, bigotry, racism, or gratuitous violence.
This code of conduct clearly implies that users cannot store anything that is nude or porn, which also includes nude or partially nude paintings and even cartoons. And this code applies to everything including private files that users upload and store on Sky Drive.
Another issue that concerns users is SkyDrive being linked to Microsoft account. This means that in case Microsoft suspends users’ SkyDrive, users also lose access to any connected Outlook or Office software or Windows Phone and Xbox 360 devices. This extremely severe code of conduct could end up cutting off other services that users depend on.
However, there seems to be another concern. Microsoft is forcing users to use SkyDrive in its new Windows 8 and Office 2013. SkyDrive is rooted inside the Windows 8 OS. Also noted is that SkyDrive is the default for saving files in the new version of Office, instead of local hard drive. However, Microsoft has made it extremely easy for users to save to the cloud. But the question that remains is that what happens to the file stored in SkyDrive that contains too many swear?
On being asked to through light on its strict policy, Microsoft refused to answer.
Let’s take a look at other four cloud storage providers to see where they stand on the issue of content restrictions.
Box is a relatively easy-to-use service, which has its main target on businesses. This service attracts business consumers and teams through promotion strategies such as 50GB storage bargains for Android and iPhone users. A spokesperson from the company also stated that customers can use Box with no worries as long as they do not violate the law or DMCA in any manner. As per reported, the company’s terms of service includes:
You may not use Box in any way that violates applicable federal, state, or international law, or for any unlawful purpose.
Just like other companies, Dropbox also have its own terms of service, DMCA policy, and acceptable use policy. However, the company’s policy did not mention any content restrictions (such as porn or nude drawings) besides telling users not to break the law in any manner.
Google Drive also has a list of restrictions that it imposes on content. The company has rules against “publishing” (read: sharing) content that includes sexually explicit material, bullying, violence, and more.
On being asked about it, Google officials neither confirmed nor denied whether Google Drive users could upload porn to the cloud legally or not. But what it said does imply that users can store adult content in Drive as long as they do not share it with friends.
Also just like Microsoft, Google also offers users easy accessibility to all its services via a single account. But that means that in case users uploaded anything that violates Google’s laws, users might just lose access to Gmail and other services too.
However, comparing all service providers conclude that Microsoft remains the most restrictive cloud storage provider in the market. The company is strict and rigid in its policy as to what users can upload and what they cannot. This move seems to be a way by Microsoft to deter cyber crime. But the fact that it does not even allow profanity or curse is something that the company might want to reconsider.
As mentioned above, the four other companies do allow users to store whatever they want as long as it is done within the laws and policies.