Microsoft has made some changes to its OneDrive service that could entice potential users who have avoided the cloud to date based on security concerns.
According to Microsoft, OneDrive now comes with the capability to store data within the OneDrive Personal Vault, a special area of storage that you define. Accessing data within the PV requires an additional authentication step of one type or another. Here’s Microsoft’s description:
Personal Vault is a protected area in OneDrive that you can only access with a strong authentication method or the second step of identity verification, such as your fingerprint, face, PIN, or a code sent to you via email or SMS. Your locked files in Personal Vault have an extra layer of security, keeping them more secured in the event that someone gains access to your account or your device… Just enter a PIN, or use your fingerprint, face, or a code delivered by email or SMS1 to unlock and access your files—no need to remember multiple passwords. Additionally, Personal Vault can be unlocked with the Microsoft Authenticator app. Whichever way you choose, unlocking is quick, convenient, and helps secure your data.
This is a fairly interesting set of capabilities and could address some of the concerns individuals have had regarding the use of private cloud services. The ability to set a personal form of two-factor authentication using a personal PIN provides additional data security for anyone concerned about cloud access to files.
Files are kept encrypted while in transit and at rest. These Vault files copied over to your own PC are stored in a section of the hard drive encrypted with BitLocker. Personal Vault also relocks the device after a period of inactivity (you can set how long) to make certain that data remain sandboxed and inaccessible. Personal Vault will roll out “soon” to Australia, New Zealand, and Canada and will be available everywhere by years end.
Google employees have sent a petition to the San Francisco Pride board of directors to revoke Google’s sponsorship of Pride 2019 and to exclude Google from the Pride Parade on June 30th.
The employees, in a letter written to San Francisco Pride, say they have spent countless hours advocating for Google to improve its policies regarding the treatment of LGBTQ+ persons, and that they have been told repeatedly to wait. The letter also points to Google’s recent warning that employees who protest the company at Pride must do so in their personal capacity (not near the Google float), or they will be in violation of Google’s code of conduct.
Google has received criticism for its recent decision not to pull YouTube videos containing racist and homophobic attacks, in particular, those by right-wing commentator Steven Crowder.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai told Gayglers (a group for Google’s LGBT employees) that the company will conduct more internal discussions aimed at addressing its harassment policies. But those who signed the petition say they are “no longer content to wait.”