I've kvetched about cloud computing, as you well know, but underlying it all is my concern about maintaining security and privacy. You lawyers out there are particularly vulnerable to client privacy issues.
I was reading this really interesting article about alleged misuse of people's address books by a site called Reunion.com and the hubbub that ensued (no, really, they even say "hubbub" in the article…). You've seen these solicitations, haven't you? You sign up for a free email account and they tell you the great news; if you would be so kind as to upload your address book, they're only too happy to manage it for you, find your contacts on the web and generally make life easy for you.
What is my response? No. Every single time, no – even when it might benefit me considerably. For example, I use Earthlink services, and if I upload my address book to them, I can use their tools to control incoming spam with a lot more efficiency.
Do I do so? No.
Here's an idea. Why don't you just leave your PDA on a restaurant counter somewhere? What's the difference? You're trusting your most prized possession to strangers and it's only as safe as the stranger's attention to security.
My PDA is password-protected. It's an incredible pain. I hate it. It makes things cumbersome. For all I know, it isn't even that effective. But you know what? At least I'm doing everything within my power to protect my client information. At the very least, it will slow down a hacker while I call up my service-provider and get them to send a signal that wipes out the data (yes, they can do that).
I think my clients deserve nothing less. How about yours?