Tag Archives: cloud computing

“Nokia wants to link to your Flickr account”

I’ve aquired a Nokia 5220 from a dear friend of mine. It’s a rather cheap, simple phone but it sports a camera, capacity to play music and video etc. It doesn’t support 3G connections, but heck GPRS is good enough for low-bandwidth stuff. So I’m thinking about starting a photo/fashion blog embedded into my deep, political criticism and other crap I almost manage to write down.

The phone has a Flickr application, which I’m guessing was installed by default rather than the previous owner. This Flickr application allows me to upload images to the account, which is then retrievable from the internets of course. Pretty basic and probably useful for most people who want to easily share their images. Personally I’m not quite satisfied and will probably write my own interface for a photo sharing module to WordPress (or stand-alone) myself…

Anyhow, the first question I get when I’ve newly registered a Flickr account and access it with my mobile phone is: “Nokia wants to link to your Flickr account”. Now, what does this mean?

This is a third-party service. If you don’t trust it with access to your account, then you should not authorize it.

Right. That’s all sound and stuff. But one might be curious as to what would be authorized if you accepted this third-party agreement… Boy was I surprised when I scrolled down and read the following:

By authorizing this link, you’ll allow Nokia to:

  • Access your Flickr account (including private content)
  • Upload, Edit, and Replace photos, and videos in your account
  • Interact with other members’ photos and videos (comment, add notes, favorite)

Wow. Nokia asks permission to become me. Interestingly enough, this is followed by the statement that “Nokia will not have permission to: Delete photos and videos from your account”. Then, I ask myself, what do they mean by allowing them to replace but not delete? And who the fuck would ever authorize them to do this?

I of course clicked “NO THANKS” and uploaded my pictures after logging in to Flickr. But the question appeared once again when I started the application a second time… I wonder if they ever stop nagging. (Was I merely using a fallback HTTP interface? I guess I’ll never know…)

I understand that they need this access to allow their third party application to manage your account details. No human interaction is needed, but still it is not denied. The company Nokia might as well employ 5000 Chinese who do the “management” manually, rather than automatically through software.

This is also why “cloud computing” is bad. It’s the same theory. Outsource/export your control, rights and supervision to a third-party company. No, it’s much better to keep your computing to yourself. You wouldn’t ask a stranger to manage your family photo albums, right?

Update 2010-03-10: As the comment for this post have pointed out, it’s not Nokia the company who are asking for permission, it’s the Nokia photo sharing software. I’m still confused as to why I can’t just hand it my username and password, or better yet a private API key, and be done with it… It should be obvious for people that when you use third-party software it’s distributed “as-is”.