Privacy Policy

Life been recently something of just a rollercoaster ride for Dropbox lately. In May, the cloud-storage service was hit with an FTC complaint based on allegedly misleading contractual language about data security. Last month, a team of consumers filed a class-action lawsuit against Dropbox for the way it handled a brief security hole in assistance.
Then, on July 1, when Dropbox tried to complete right by its users by cleaning much for this language in its terms of service, online privacy policy and security overview, another uproar ensued. It appears this was the period many customers bothered study these documents, because the commenters on the blog post announcing the changes, also as forum members across the web, began loudly criticizing certain Dropbox practices.
Of particular concern was terms and services information language about data ownership, which some customers loved mean that Dropbox claimed ownership with their data. After a couple of attempts to explain the issue on the July 1 blog post, Dropbox completely rewrote the section regarding data ownership and updated its relation to its service again on July 6.
Despite all this, as soon as the smoke clears, Dropbox’s newfound focus on transparency could turn to be able to be amazing thing. Particularly when it triggers an avalanche of other web-service providers following in its footsteps.
The united states government is eyeing up unsafe effects of consumer web services regarding their privacy practices, and the resulting rules have the potential to be detrimental to companies like Dropbox, Facebook and Search. Part of the reason for the proposed rules is that companies were not willing to alter themselves. Facebook, which finds itself within a privacy snafu seemingly monthly, exemplifies scenario.
Dropbox’s work is so potentially meaningful since the FTC states that, among its chief priorities any kind of federal rules, are clear, reader-friendly contractual language and privacy protocols. While Google is fighting such efforts with lobbyists, Dropbox is giving an illustration showing how to cut legalese from a contract and let users know exactly what they’re opting-in for.
Take this excerpt from the hotly contested copyright section, for example:
By using our Services you provide us with information, files, and folders that you submit to Dropbox (together, “your stuff”). You retain full ownership to your stuff. We don’t claim any ownership to your of it. These Terms don’t grant us any rights to your stuff or intellectual property except for your limited rights that are essential to run the Services, as explained below. now.
To be clear, in addition to the rare exceptions we identify in our Privacy Policy, no matter how the representation change, we can’t share your content with others, including law enforcement, regarding any purpose unless you direct us to.
Dropbox General Counsel Ramsey Homsany, who joined the company about per month ago following years leading a legal team within Google, said he doesn’t think the contractual changes have something to do with Dropbox’s legalities. He said the company disagrees a concern . premise of FTC complaint, so it isn’t making modifications to an look at resolve that matter. In fact, vehicle began rewriting its terms in April, and therefore the changes were already underway when he joined.
Rather, Homsany said, Dropbox knows that its users – some who rely on Dropbox her or his life’s work – are passionate on the service, and this wants to them make informed options. “We don’t have a pride in becoming right,” he stated. If documented feeling increased think the terms are unclear, Dropbox will be even clearer, he said.
Both impact all civilian federal government and users still care with what customer agreements actually permit a company to, though, regardless how clearly those permissions are written. Dropbox hasn’t materially amended the uses customer data, and Homsany doesn’t think it is to currently. It could be a delicate balancing act to retain only the necessary rights while letting users keep the rest, but he thinks that customers by and enormous understand that producing a quality product does require some flexibility the following their reports.
Dropbox rewriting its terms, privacy and security policies isn’t the be-all, end-all of the discussion over consumer rights online, but it is a heck of a start. Someone had to get the process started and show web services actually are paying appreciation of the privacy firestorm surrounding them. When the villain du jour, it’d as well be Dropbox would you it.
But due to own sakes, Dropbox’s peers might to be able to follow the firm’s lead. If enough sites spell out for their users what exactly they’re signing up for, with time they get around to formally proposing new laws, the FTC, Congress and some other federal bodies might forget what have been so mad about in the first space.