This is What a Hole in Your Digital Life Looks Like

10:15PM Tuesday March 27, San Francisco, across the street from Alexander’s Restaurant at 4th & Brennan. I slipped into the driver’s seat of my rental car after dinner with Phil Windley and Doc Searls, took one look in the rear view mirror, and instantly knew the hole that had been blasted into my digital life.

Yes, both bags were gone. And with them my MacBook Pro, my iPad 2 (new at Christmas), all my digital road warrior gear, and all my clothes and toiletries.

The physical loss is bad enough – it’s already been days of work restoring all the equipment, with more to go. But the worst part is the digital loss. Some of the files and pictures (no, not everything was backed up, and yes, now I finally DO have Time Machine installed) are gone forever.

What kept it from being completely devestating is the amount of my digital stuff that is already in the cloud – Dropbox, iCloud, Gmail, and assorted other mail servers. While I was already a huge advocate of the cloud — see my series on the personal cloud — now I’m going to be an absolute raving lunatic about it. I want the same protection for my digital life as I have for my house and home and possessions in my physical life. And I want a personal cloud infrastructure (and trust framework) that will give it to me — and ensure that I can maintain control over it.

The irony is that I was talking with Iain Henderson of The Customer’s Voice about the theft and he pointed out that if I’d had a personal cloud, actually filing the insurance claim  (and proving that I had ownership of the different assets stolen) would be almost trivial. He even sent me these example screen shots from The Customer’s Voice to illustrate.

Thanks, Iain – now I’m REALLY determined to bring personal cloud infrastructure to life. (More about that coming soon from my talks at the European Identity Conference starting April 17.)


About Drummond Reed

Internet entrepreneur in identity, personal data, and governance frameworks
This entry was posted in General, Personal Cloud, Respect Trust Framework and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to This is What a Hole in Your Digital Life Looks Like

  1. eekim says:

    Egad, Drummond. Really sorry to hear about this. 😦 Time to audit my digital content and make sure I’m backing everything up.

  2. Pingback: Ping Talk – Ping Identity: This Week in Identity – The zeal of a reformed sinner « oracle fusion identity

  3. Saqib Ali says:


    The possibility of the digital devastation after a personal computing device is stolen is very real. Our CIO recently made a blogpost on the importance of physical security.

    My strategy is to own the lowest cost device (e.g. a Chromebook) and store all the data in the cloud. I use the Ubuntu Cloud and Google Docs. Google’s cloud is good for certain content type, for everything else I use Ubuntu One.


  4. Shoot – this is terrible. And you know what I’m doing right now? Backing up 500 GB of stuff into the cloud. I guess it will take the whole day but if it would be gone… don’t even want to think about it.
    Thanks for sharing this !!!!

  5. Pingback: The Real Killer App for Personal Clouds | Equals Drummond

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