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Some popular cloud storage providers actively sweep accounts looking for illegal data.  Initially the focus has been a search for child pornography, but their terms of service allow for other kinds of files to be considered non grata as well.  A man in Maryland was recently charged because of child porn on his Verizon Online cloud storage account. It was found by Verizon because they actively scan their customers files.
While cloud storage providers are required by law to respond to known or suspected instances of child pornography, not all scan users’ accounts looking for them.  Apple, Microsoft and Verizon state in their user agreements that they reserve the right to actively search stored files.  Dropbox, Amazon and Google take a more hands-off approach. According to their terms of service, they will investigate notifications of suspected illegal activity, but won’t use automated pre-screening.


Everyone agrees catching /prosecuting  criminals that prey on children is good, but it does demonstrate that some companies consider the data stored on their servers to be something they can view / search.  I might get upset if I thought someone from Microsoft or Apple was looking at my tax returns that I put on a cloud storage device.



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