Cloud Storage Scare Tactics

I’m getting tired of the scare tactics by Proton over the “risks” of using competing services. I totally understand the company has to market their tools but many times they do so in a way that is more about scaring people than the pros of their own products. The latest is a warning about lack of end-to-end encryption in services competing with Proton’s new Proton Drive cloud storage option.

Called out in the posting are Dropbox and Google. Dropbox is mentioned because of a data breach in 2016 in which logins and passwords were leaked. This had nothing to do with anyone gaining access to encryption keys and is a red herring at best. Google is noted because, while they actually haven’t had a data breach (as noted by the article), someone might get the keys and get to your data.

The article calls out many other factors such as privacy policies, server location, legal jurisdictions, etc. These are important things to consider but one thing the article doesn’t mention at all is productivity and convenience features such as document indexing, integration with other systems, etc.

Proton, while talking about their end-to-end encryption in Proton Drive, neglects to mention that there isn’t a computer sync client yet for Proton Drive. Neither do they discuss the implications of end-to-end encryption in a cloud storage system, such as giving up server-based file indexing to allow you to search your documents on the web. There is no way to search documents in Proton Drive and that won’t be an option until there is a sync client.

It is very important for users to realize that there are many factors to consider when choosing a cloud storage provider. I think that for a normal user Proton Drive forces you to give up far more in convenience than you’re getting from the security of end-to-end encryption. Again, I get that they have to market their own product, especially in a market where there are superior options such as Tresorit. But I find them being irresponsible in how they’re doing their marketing. Stick to the facts, not the fear mongering.

Jason Kratz @jasonekratz