Thursday, November 15, 2012

Questions over cloud word processor privacy

I sometimes use Apple's Pages software which makes good use of their iCloud facility to sync documents between devices. And I understand the new Microsoft Word 2013 has a big emphasis on cloud storage too.

My question is around the privacy of my text:

  • I open a document in, say, Pages and edit away.

  • When I come to close Pages the software invites me to keep my document or to delete it from iCloud storage.

Does that mean my text has already left my computer and been sent to Apple iCloud? If so, how can I be certain that when I delete it that it's not just my access to it that gets deleted and that it's not still out there lurking on some disk space somewhere, out of my control?

To be clear, I'm not dealing with anything that sensitive; I'm just wondering how private my business planning documents can be if I use cloud-enabled applications on my own PC. Naturally, I have no expectation of privacy if I use something wholly cloud-based like Google Docs; but it seems that I might no longer have that expectation of privacy if I use something that runs on my own computer, but is cloud-enabled.