This is nothing groundbreaking, but Dropbox has updated its security Terms of Service to say that if the government asks, they will have to decrpyt user’s files and turn them over.
That’s standard practice for any online storage service from Gmail to Amazon, and shouldn’t affect the average user unless they’re doing something wrong.
The updated passage reads:
It’s always important to read a site’s Terms of Service before signing on, and take care what you store on sites like Dropbox. Any files that violate copyright couldbe removed.
Again, this won’t affect most users, so don’t sweat it. If you want to read Drobox’s full Terms of Service, click here.
UPDATE: Like we said, this is nothing to worry about, but Dropbox reached out to us with a statement to clarify the change in its Terms of Service:
In our help article we state that Dropbox employees aren’t able to access user files. This is not an intentionally misleading statement — it is enforced by technical access controls on our backend storage infrastructure as well as strict policy prohibitions. The contents of a file will never be accessed by a Dropbox employee without the user’s permission. We can see, however, why people may have misinterpreted “Dropbox employees aren’t able to access user files” as a statement about how Dropbox uses encryption, so we will change this article to use the clearer “Dropbox employees are prohibited from accessing user files.”
Regarding our Terms of Service:
Like all U.S. companies, Dropbox must follow U.S. law. Our Terms of Service have always stated that Dropbox must comply with law enforcement officials, but as the popularity of Dropbox has grown rapidly, we’ve gotten an increasing number of questions from users about how we do this. The TOS update was merely a clarification for users, not a policy update — we will fight vigorously for user privacy. It is also worth noting that all companies that store user data (Google, Amazon, etc.) are not above the law and must comply with court orders and have similar statements in their respective terms of service.