Snippet: Drop Dropbox ☇

Shared on April 11, 2014

Going for double on the tech-things-that-piss-me-off today, this has been shared a lot lately. While Dropbox introduced some nice new features on Wednesday, another announcement upset a lot of folks—Condoleezza Rice was named to Dropbox’s board. As I can understand the desire to get someone with her experience and skill set, I can’t help but think that she will be forever associated with some of the despicable political happenings of the early-to-mid-2000s, especially in the area of civil liberties and technology. What’s more concerning is how this reflects on Dropbox’s leadership and how it doesn’t seem to be a big deal that users are upset:

Choosing Condoleezza Rice for Dropbox’s Board is problematic on a number of deeper levels, and invites serious concerns about Drew Houston and the senior leadership at Dropbox’s commitment to freedom, openness, and ethics. When a company quite literally has access to all of your data, ethics become more than a fun thought experiment.

Although Dropbox responded to the concerns, “principles and values” from technology companies only carry so much weight in this post-Snowden world. For me, this isn’t a concern of Rice’s political party affiliation, but more of a company politics concern. I am re-evaluating my own usage of Dropbox, despite championing an arguably great product from its earliest days. Chris Breen summed up my thoughts:

And this plays to all philosophies. If you object to someone like Al Gore being on Apple’s board, switch to Android. If you think Apple’s green tech policies are a waste of money, do as Tim Cook suggests and get out of the stock (and stop buying its products). If Bill Maher drives you crazy, forego Game of Thrones.

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