Dropbox Leading The Charge For a Privacy Revolution

Privacy practices have been an extremely hot topic these days. Facebook and Google have found themselves in hot water because of it. Popular online storage company, Dropbox, is also no stranger. Following some changes to their privacy policy and revisions to their terms of service, some users were outraged by unclear wording that lead some to believe that Dropbox claimed a user’s data as their own. Turns out their terms of service was poorly worded and Dropbox took to further revisions.

Now, Dropbox is leading the charge of what can be seen as transparency in a companies terms of service providing clear, reader friendly contractual language and letting users know exactly what they are signing up for. Here’s a quote from their new copyright section:

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 any of it. These Terms do not grant us any rights to your stuff or intellectual property except for the limited rights that are needed to run the Services, as explained below. …

To be clear, aside from the rare exceptions we identify in our Privacy Policy, no matter how the Services change, we won’t share your content with others, including law enforcement, for any purpose unless you direct us to.

Now, I may not always be the brightest bulb in the box but even this is something I can read and clearly understand. No legal speak, just clear, plain English. If only more companies like Google or Facebook were more clear about their privacy practices and let users know exactly what they are signing up for, maybe the feds wouldn’t be involved as much.

[Via GigaOM]

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  • http://twitter.com/themamateresa Teresa Thomas

    Awesome! The only other company whose policies I not only understand, but also enjoy reading, is ING. Kudos to them for using plain English!

  • Stifledgenius

    They can’t get anymore clear. The funny thing was, I thought yesterdays changes were clear enough, but I guess not, morons went on rants everywhere.

  • http://twitter.com/NateDietrich Nathan Dietrich

    Not to mention it’s an awesome service. I have been using it for over a year now and can’t live without it.

  • Anadrol88

    “including law enforcement” I don’t believe them, what about Patriot Act ?

  • Michael Quinlan

    It’s great to see plain language in any terms or policy. But it always baffles me how large companies pay lawyers hundreds of dollars per hour to come up with language that is so easily and widely interpreted in a manner entirely contrary to what was intended, and even other lawyers don’t know what it means. Plain language is clearly the way to go – it saves everyone a lot of time, saves the companies a lot of money, and screws the lawyers out of their fees.

  • http://twitter.com/kkaminskaya Katerina Kaminskaya

    But 4shared Sync is better

  • Jason Lee

    Plain English is great, that is until grandma sues for spilling a piping hot cup of dropbox on herself. Then plain old English becomes the 50 page protective legal speak we find elsewhere. Love the brief transparency. Wonder if it will last…

  • http://twitter.com/windrush windrush

    Sorry, but considering their past history, recent actions and how the technology of the service is set up, this is just marketing talk. You should be more critical I think.

  • http://twentymiles.myopenid.com/ TwentyMiles

    This would be great if it didn’t contradict what was in their actual privacy policy. Taken from Section 3 of the privacy policy posted on their site at http://www.dropbox.com/privacy :

    “Compliance with Laws and Law Enforcement Requests; Protection of Dropbox’s Rights.

    We may disclose to parties outside Dropbox files stored in your Dropbox and information about you that we collect when we have a good faith belief that disclosure is reasonably necessary to (a) comply with a law, regulation or compulsory legal request; (b) protect the safety of any person from death or serious bodily injury; (c) prevent fraud or abuse of Dropbox or its users; or (d) to protect Dropbox’s property rights. If we provide your Dropbox files to a law enforcement agency as set forth above, we will remove Dropbox’s encryption from the files before providing them to law enforcement. However, Dropbox will not be able to decrypt any files that you encrypted prior to storing them on Dropbox.”

    So they won’t give your info to the police, unless the police ask nicely.

  • E. Tasche

    Patrick D. They are still subject to the Patriot Act but that is to be assumed, they are a US company who stores your data via Amazon’s Cloud, which is a US company, who’s servers are IN THE US. Meaning DUH!

    And this whole article is great except for it gives credit to dropbox for being transparent, yet the entire reason for the transparency is that the 4 prior revisions of their TOS had caused an online riot they were so horrific. The whole reason for the rewrites to begin with was that they had allowed a major security breach that exposes all of YOUR STUFF, and they were working to cover their own ass, NOT YOURS.

    Do a TINY bit of digging back on the topic please before you post a horribly misleading bit of text.

    Honestly offended this was this article was posted.