Trusting ‘the cloud’ with personal information doesn’t sit well with me either.

Impacts to privacy and the all-too-frequent reports of breaches [1][2][3]… with cloud services speak to exercising caution rather than embracing a big, (mostly) corporate target. In light of these and many other breaches and the likelihood of them not going away anytime soon, it feels compelling to want to solve the problem a different way.

For me, it started with simply needing to share calendar data. With two kids and two parents, it became evident that having a shared calendar would make everyone’s life a bit more auto-magical.


ownCloud gives you universal access to your files through a web interface or WebDAV. It also provides a platform to easily view & sync your contacts, calendars and bookmarks across all your devices and enables basic editing right on the web. — ‘Marketing Blather

I’ve been using it for about a year now and would find it hard to say anything critical about it. They have a desktop clients for windows, linux and mac, mobile apps and the most importantly, a server instance. Development has been steady and the new features they release along the way have never been a disappointment.

I now also use it to as a ‘dropbox’ replacement for sharing files with other people and with myself between devices (work/home/mobile). I share photos with family members and have my contacts data synced between devices. I like that I benefit from the value of a cloud service (syncing data) and that it is delivered in a quality, open source product without sacrificing features or privacy.



A few of my favourite things: Agile software development with the potential for significant social impact combined with responsible and appropriate use of data, machine learning algorithms and systems that support research and evidence based decision making.

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