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Who Owns the Mobile Cloud?

Dan Jones
5/31/2011

5:45 PM -- Interest in users streaming and storing data and content is growing amongst service providers, vendors and mobile developers.

An IDC report, highlighted by Data Center Knowledge, suggests that "over 80 percent of mobile app developers said they are building or plan to build mobile websites this year" in hopes of staving off cross-platform and operating system fragmentation.

Which is interesting and all, but my first thought in all of this is, if we are storing more and more of our valuable personal data on a remote server somewhere -- who owns the mobile cloud?

It seems like the carriers, as well as major vendors like Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), are in the best position to claim some ownership of the cloud. Recent revelations about Apple and Android storing user location data on the phone give me -- and maybe you too -- a slight pause about how much of my personal data I want stored on carrier or vendor servers.

Even though they say they don't use it, it's an incredible amount of information that your carrier or phone provider can glean about you. Before we get our heads too far in the clouds I believe it is worth considering who owns that data and what they might do with it.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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freeprog
freeprog
12/5/2012 | 5:03:46 PM
re: Who Owns the Mobile Cloud?


Don't you think that we shorlty will encrypt all valuable personal data we put into the cloud. Let's take an example:
DropBox, let's you store any personal files in the cloud. However, it is already at least two services making it possible to encrypt the data that you put into the DropBox-cloud. Today you can use either Truecrypt or SecretSync. It will for sure come additional similar encryption services that you can use for storing personal data in the cloud. If someone claims it's not that easy do use today, I'm sure it will become easier in the future.

Does it really matter then who owns the Mobile Cloud when it's no one but yourselves that really can access your data?


/Nils

FredStein
FredStein
12/5/2012 | 5:03:45 PM
re: Who Owns the Mobile Cloud?


The owner of your data in the cloud has to be 'you'. Vendors that get this right will have an advantage. It's not just privacy. It's security and monetization. If my personal preferences are valuable to advertisers, merchants, media, can my cloud services provider offer a revenue share? or points? or other rewards? And... how will Apple address the issues of privacy, security and monetization?

joset01
joset01
12/5/2012 | 5:03:42 PM
re: Who Owns the Mobile Cloud?


Re: DropBox


 


And as I understand it if you store any material in their public folders, it can show up on Google. We're living in an age of much diminished privacy anyway so, yeah, I think it's always worth knowing who has control of your data and who can see it.

joset01
joset01
12/5/2012 | 5:03:41 PM
re: Who Owns the Mobile Cloud?


Let's hope you're right.

FredStein
FredStein
12/5/2012 | 5:03:38 PM
re: Who Owns the Mobile Cloud?


I'm excited to see what Apple says. They've blown us away for several years running. Can they do it again? It is amazing that an old (30 years plus) tech company can be the disrupter in Cloud? I can hardly wait.


 


Forgive a ramble. Most cloud is based on open source SW on commodity HW. It scales by finding ways to scale horizontally - and massively. But as CPU core counts increase and memory access bandwidth increases, Apple's decades long technology expertise in mulit-threading may give them signifacant cost advantages. With enough of a cost advantage one can create business models that other cannot sustain.


 


Going a bit deeper. the dominant cost drivers in the massive cloud data centers (warehoses of racks of intel/linux systems) are DRAM and power/cooling. Really DRAM drives the power/cooling. If Apple can dramatically leverage multi-core to reduce massively replicated on-line data in DRAM, they can be disruptive.


 


Google distrupted search. But also Google is now vulnerable. Their stock price requires that they continue generating ad revenue. A radical redo of architecture is not in the cards any time soon. They cannot change technology or biz model to respond to a disrupter.


 


 

FredStein
FredStein
12/5/2012 | 5:03:38 PM
re: Who Owns the Mobile Cloud?


I'm excited to see what Apple says. They've blown us away for several years running. Can they do it again? It is amazing that an old (30 years plus) tech company can be the disrupter in Cloud? I can hardly wait.


 


Forgive a ramble. Most cloud is based on open source SW on commodity HW. It scales by finding ways to scale horizontally - and massively. But as CPU core counts increase and memory access bandwidth increases, Apple's decades long technology expertise in mulit-threading may give them signifacant cost advantages. With enough of a cost advantage one can create business models that other cannot sustain.


 


Going a bit deeper. the dominant cost drivers in the massive cloud data centers (warehoses of racks of intel/linux systems) are DRAM and power/cooling. Really DRAM drives the power/cooling. If Apple can dramatically leverage multi-core to reduce massively replicated on-line data in DRAM, they can be disruptive.


 


Google distrupted search. But also Google is now vulnerable. Their stock price requires that they continue generating ad revenue. A radical redo of architecture is not in the cards any time soon. They cannot change technology or biz model to respond to a disrupter.


 


 

halsteger42
halsteger42
12/5/2012 | 5:03:21 PM
re: Who Owns the Mobile Cloud?


I agree with Fred, the owner of your data in the cloud should be "you". The only exception are free cloud services that explicitly make users aware that in return for their service being free, they are mining user data for marketing and advertising purposes (such as what Google and Facebook do). But in general, for mobile cloud services such as cloud media to be trusted and used by lots of people, people need to be confident that their data and content are secure and not being accessed against their wishes.


For anyone interested in reading more about the mobile cloud, cloud media and privacy, our company recently published a free new white paper called the Future of Cloud Media, it can be downloaded from our website at www.funambol.com.

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