Be careful where you upload your data, you might not get it back

Wired has a neat little article that talks about something I really don’t see mentioned on all those “social media” Web sites: what happens when you want to move your data from Site A to Site B? It’s a by-product of moving more and more of our data to cloud-based services:do we retain ownership of our data, and if so, what’s the best way to take that data back?

A simple example: you upload all of your photos to Flickr so that your friends and family can marvel at all of your cool photos. Fair enough, good for you. A year goes by and you want to take all those photos you uploaded and move them to Some Other Site. Does Flickr make it easy to export these photos to another site, or make it easy to bulk download the raw, untouched photos? You can, but it’s not easy.

The same goes for any other cloud service that you upload data to (so, not like a Zune Marketplace where you’re essentially renting access to on-demand music): you want to be able to easily move your text documents, spreadsheets, and other such important stuff when you want, where you want.

The sense in hosting your important data on someone else’s servers, especially when storage space is so cheap these days, can be debated. After all, who uploads their photos to Flickr then deletes the orignial files from your local hard drive? That sounds like a recipe for disaster.

There really wasn’t a point to this, per se, just to remind y’all to be careful with your data and where you remotely store it. It may be convenient to be able to log into Cool Document Site Dot Com from anywhere in the world, but what happens if they go out of business, or if their servers are stolen by aliens?