Just what exactly are cloud-based solutions? The so-called "cloud" is a buzz-term basically used to describe a network of "scalable" computer systems (although the word "scalable" is also marketing babble, and a lie), normally in data centres.

The concept behind the "cloud" is that computing can be performed wherever you are in the world and your data is so-say, "secure", on the cloud.

The only reason the cloud can be considered "scalable" is because the people behind the data centres constantly expand it with new servers and space, to make it seem like it is scalable. In reality, the cloud is not as scalable as people probably think it is, and there will come a time when this "cloud" will also run out of space.

How and when we are not sure, but it is always curious why people try to sell prospective customers on things that are not physically or technically possible. These are all just marketing terms which do not have much weight to them.

But why shouldn't you use cloud-computing or cloud-based solutions?

Cloud-based solutions are normally on shared servers, meaning resources are partitioned for your own personal use so that you do not accidentally touch other people's data. However, shared servers come with a fundamental issue.

Because data is shared on a single server, if that server goes down and few backups exist of that data, then that is lost business.

For established businesses, cloud-based solutions are simply not good enough. If the Internet goes down, you no longer have access to your data and your employees are left without anything to do.

Most businesses will opt for a hybrid setup. This means that data is stored locally, but a copy is uploaded immediately to the cloud. That means that even if the Internet does go down, you still have access to the same data. The reason to opt for this is important for businesses whose "not-so-crucial" or "trade secret" data can be accessed by employees who need it when they are on-the-go frequently.

This is all well and good, but we still haven't discussed the elephant in the room.


Ah, yes. Sweet, sweet privacy. Perhaps with a chocolate orange coating and strawberry tart on the side.

Jokes aside, privacy is a fundamental human right. You are not entitled to it, you need it. Who wants to know who you had sex with last night, or how that particular experience went for you in fine detail? Privacy is needed for those moments when we perform actions that requires a door to be closed, not just for sex, of course.

Online, it is somewhat of a misnomer to expect to have privacy when all computers are connected to the Internet, if you get what I mean. True privacy, if you truly desired it, would mean turning off your smartphone and binning it. Turning off your desktop computer when you don't need access to it.

But privacy is the "good enough" excuse to dissuade authority and multinational corporations from implementing legal apparatus allowing them the full swathe of the data belonging to the "subject". Many would question what the GDPR entails if they can still do this, but although I am not a lawyer, the word "subject", or in this case, "data subject", is a very profound word with an important meaning and a specific legal definition. Knowing this is just half the problem.

Primarily, the reason for collating data about individuals is not about what you had for breakfast or who you slept with. It is about creating personality profiles which can be used to manipulate behaviour.

In a cloud-based world, personality profiles can be created far easier which is the reason for the push towards everyone to go "cloud-based".

What are Personality Profiles?

In a 2014 article published by Forbes, and more recently in a 2017 article by FirstPost, it has become clear Facebook and other social media websites have been taking advantage of the human psychological reward feedback loop produced by dopamine, in which to alter behaviour by producing certain types of feedback depending on the content of a post.

This, in turn, can be used to collect how people respond to certain types of content and adapt that for real-world scenarios. The implications of this could mean an almost direct way of determining the best outcome of any given situation and deploying whatever resources necessary to mitigate disaster.

That may sound good, but it also means bad for freedom-loving individuals. Can you imagine how the computer system just knows all your behaviours and knows exactly where you could be at any given time, and 99% of the time know what you could be doing and when, even without access to technology?

The "Cloud" is really a Prison

In retrospect, it becomes clear that the cloud is nothing more than a prison for your data. As that data of your online behaviours become more obvious to intelligent systems and as you become more dependent on these systems, this intelligence will do whatever it can to persuade you to comply.

Businesses by their nature will be forced to comply with laws and if not, access to their data cut off by the cloud hosting providers. In the ever complex world of the Internet of Things (basically everything connected to a Smart Grid), the chances of escape are nil.

There will be no freedom once the "cloud" becomes completely integrated within our world, and as more devices in our daily lives become connected to the Internet, the harder it will become to get our voices heard.