I mentioned just a few hours ago that Amazon has just launched a cloud-based music streaming service, and is the first of the big three (those being Google, Amazon and Apple) to do so. And in that piece, I also talked about the fact that the uploader requires Adobe Air, and that was a bit irritating to me.
What I didn’t mention (because I just found out) was that the privacy portion of the terms of agreement sucks out loud.
You can go ahead and hit the link above, or just read section 5.2 right here:
5.2 Our Right to Access Your Files. You give us the right to access, retain, use and disclose your account information and Your Files: to provide you with technical support and address technical issues; to investigate compliance with the terms of this Agreement, enforce the terms of this Agreement and protect the Service and its users from fraud or security threats; or as we determine is necessary to provide the Service or comply with applicable law.
What they’re saying here is they can look at anything they’re holding for you, for basically any reason. So aside from getting to read the digital backup to your Captain Midnight decoder ring, they can examine all of your MP3s to see if they’ve been acquired in a way that they, and presumably anyone else they show them to (like the RIAA, who we all know are a balanced bunch when it comes to lawsuits), believe is legit.
Personally, I don’t need 5 GB of free online storage badly enough to let Amazon.com and anyone else they choose dig through my files despite the fact that I’m not a thief. Frankly, the idea of granting someone access to my files whenever they choose (remember, their cloud service stores documents, video, and photos as well) sits nowhere close to comfortable with me, and just the existence of paragraph 5.2 is enough for me to say “screw you guys, I’ll keep ‘em at home.”