|Regarding cloud computing, and by inference, the reduction in "on site" storage capacity, I have deep concerns.|
First of all, I do not like the idea of storing items deemed private on a remote server, where unauthorized access would have a greater probability of occurring than if the information were stored at home, off line, and unavailable to anyone other than the person in physical possession of the hard drive, flash card, or similar media.
Second, if everyone had a free 2GB or 5GB from a remote cloud facility, imagine the traffic pile-up when, say, 100 million users try to access their cloud storage almost simultaneously. Not only would the servers themselves bog down, but the spectrum allocated for accessing the servers, both wired and wireless, would slow down to the point where one might encounter long waits or be thrown out of the queue altogether.
We already know that service providers such as Verizon routinely cooperate with law enforcement officials to allow access to supposedly private voice or data communications. Verizon is paid to offer these services to law enforcement officials, and doing so has become another profit center for them. I assume the same goes for AT&T or other service providers.
We also know that mere access to particular sites on the Internet (e.g., a service provider offering storage facilities for users) can trigger advertising and other related forms of contacting the user, whether the user wants this distraction or not. And yet, the increase in cloud storage, combined with doing more and more routine transactions (like data access) through the cloud will only increase this nuisance, unless of course the increased traffic leads to gridlock.
The answer, in my view, is exactly the opposite of what is happening. Individuals should have more, not less information and data files on site, or on their own storage facilities, such as USB cards or hard drives. In particular, and this is where SanDisk could profit eventually, what if every person carried a health card containing, say, 5 GB or health data? For most people, this would be a lifetime of medical records, including even x-rays and other non-textual data. Suppose the card were the size of an ordinary credit card, but embedded in that card was archival type flash memory (write once, read often) probably in pdf format, which could be read by virtually all computers in any hospital or doctor's office. Whenever the patient needed medical services, the entire health record would be immediately available to the service provider.
Instead, the trend, especially in health services, is to create remote servers containing patient data which is fed into the servers by attending physicians or assistants, or treatment facilities. Under current health regulations, the patient has a right to restrict access to this data, but the usual case is that the patient waves the right in order that the records can be centralized. One result of this is a practice noted in today's New York Times, where bill collectors are admitted to hospitals, with privileges similar to hospital employees, enabling them to access patient records and confront patients in the emergency room, threatening them with no treatment until they pay for prior treatment. This is actually happening, and the Minnesota Attorney General is ready to prosecute one of the largest hospital bill collectors for acting in this manner.
It would be less costly and more efficient for individuals to carry with them their pertinent health records and avoid the need for remote access and the opportunity for abuse, which has now been documented.
SanDisk should design a health card to enable timely and complete data access by those, and only those who need the information and have a right to examine the information. The confidentiality provisions already built into SD cards would be the basis for such a product. This would be the kind of value added product that SanDisk has promoted over the years and would be in line with a brief effort, begun about ten years ago, to provide medical dog tags to combat soldiers (which went nowhere, apparently).