Forum Thread: Dropbox controversy - can someone explain?

Via MetaFilter: There's an FTC complaint being filed against Dropbox that says that they're lying about how files are encrypted and who's got access to them. Dropbox says that your files are safe

I'd wanted to start using Dropbox for a number of reasons, and especially since you guys seem to really like it, but I'm starting to have doubts. Can anyone clarify on whether I can still trust Dropbox or not?

2 Responses

Here's the very short, super neutral version:

Dropbox originally stated that their employees could not access your files and could only look at the metadata.

Someone figured out that Dropbox can indeed access your files.

Dropbox changed their phrasing to state that their employees are prohibited from accessing your files, and only are permitted to view the metadata. In other words, the capability to access it exists, but employees aren't allowed to do so unless legally required to (or so Dropbox says).

So...unfortunate semantics, or outright lie? That's up to the user to decide.

As for me, I wasn't aware of Dropbox's employee-access claims until this whole kerfuffle started. I suppose I always assumed that Dropbox could get into my stuff if need be, just as Google and Twitter and every other online service that I use can. I've always been happy with their services, and up until this to-do, they've seemed like pro-user folks. So for the time being, my feathers aren't majorly ruffled, and I'll be keeping my account (though I will keep following the story).

Thanks Becky! That explanation is a lot clearer than all the articles I was trying to read. 

I think it's weird for any company to claim that they won't access your files, especially a web-based one like Dropbox. Like you, I assume Google and other online services can access my stuff, if the need arises. It's just up to the individual user how much they trust those services.

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