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Researcher: Dropbox misrepresents security features

John E. Dunn, IDG News Service | May 17, 2011
Cloud data storage and synchronization company Dropbox has been hit with a complaint to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission alleging that the company has deceived consumers about the level of encryption security it offers.

The Dropbox response to this is that the service is not intended as a fully-secure file repository, merely as a service that is more secure than conventional ways of carrying around data such as on unencrypted USB sticks.

"We've focused on helping users avoid the most common threats: not having current backups, not having any backups at all, accidentally deleting or overwriting files, losing USB drives with sensitive information, leaving files on the wrong computer, etc," said Dropbox in the blog post.

Dropbox responded to Soghoian's FTC letter. "We believe this complaint [Soghoian's] is without merit, and raises issues that were addressed in our blog post on April 21, 2011. Millions of people depend on our service every day and we work hard to keep their data safe, secure, and private," said Dropbox spokeswoman Julie Supan in a statement.

MIT students Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi founded Dropbox in 2007 to come up with an alternative to e-mailing files to themselves so that they could work on them from more than one computer. Now with 25 million users worldwide, the company's free service allows users to store up to 2GB of documents, images and videos centrally, automatically synchronizing these to every device on which the user loads the company's client software.


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