Over at the Cloud Ramblings blog, John Mathon provides his list of Breakout MegaTrends that will explode in 2015. There’s an entry in there about Personal Cloud rising to prominence. Yay! John and I often see eye to eye on our visions of the near future of computing and Personal Cloud is definitely huge in that future. But it seems that once you get past the name “Personal Cloud,” our visions begin to diverge. I’d like to explain how they diverge, why my vision is better, and beseech John and all the other pundits, analysts and trade journalists out there to adopt a slightly stricter interpretation of what, exactly, constitutes “personal.”
It’s going to be a PR struggle to convince regular people that “personal” or personally directed services (VRM) style are different than general cloud services.. because I bet that Google would argue that Google apps are personally directed.. nothing happens unless the individual uses the services, from Google’s perspective. But the individual’s data isn’t controlled by the individual, VRM style.
So I think this will be the pivot point.. convincing the public, as well as the companies and governments, that it’s not “personal” unless the individual controls their own data, not just the use of the product.
What is interesting to me about the privacy issues unfolding of late, especially in the wake of the PRISM revelations, is that VRM-y cloud apps already exist that address the issues raised by the Swedes and for privacy in general. If Cole Sear were here he’d tell you the same thing: “I see VRM apps. Floating around the cloud like regular apps. They’re VRM except, they don’t see each other. And they don’t say they are VRM. They don’t even know they’re VRM.”