Dropbox CEO defends Condoleeza Rice board choice; privacy commitment won't change

Dropbox held a big media event earlier this week, where it revealed a number of new features and products. However, it was an announcement that the company made much more quietly that got the most media attention; the naming of former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to Dropbox's board of directors.

That move stirred up many pro-privacy folks on the Internet, who felt that the appointment of Rice, a defender of the government's intelligence agencies, ran counter to Dropbox's previous statements about its own privacy ideas. Today, the company's CEO Drew Houston wrote on the Dropbox blog to defend Rice and their decision to place her on the board.

Houston points out that Dropbox has stated in the past its own commitment to transparency when it comes to government requests of data from its cloud servers, and for the need of reform in current online surveillance polices. He said none of that will change with Rice's appointment, stating, "Our commitment to your rights and your privacy is at the heart of every decision we make, and this will continue."

Houston said that Rice will offer Dropbox a lot of experience and help as it expands into markets around the world while also serving the need to defend the privacy rights of new customers. He wrote, "Dr. Rice understands our stance on these issues and fully supports our commitments to our users."

Source: Dropbox | Image via Microsoft

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Why would the privacy commitment change? It's not like they have to follow the privacy commitment. They never have followed it and they still won't. Nothing has changed.

Let's boycott Apple, they have the controversial Al Gore as a board member! He contributes greatly to global warming by flying a private jet instead of using a commercial airline.

Too sad. i'm done with dropbox. Oh man do you know how much files rice's crew can access now.... MMMMMHMMMM delicious files. what a smart choice to do.
And i'm not dropping dropbox because of security concerns, I don't care if they see my songs. but i'm dropping it because they are very stupid by making that choice.
{Microsoft} one drive 4 life.
It just needs to add direct link sharing so I could share things with my friends without forcing them signing up in microsoft

merandus said,
It just needs to add direct link sharing so I could share things with my friends without forcing them signing up in microsoft
Huh? I share links to my Skydrive files and people can download them without needing to sign up first. I can also create direct download links so they don't even need to visit the site. Just follow the simple instructions here: http://webapps.stackexchange.com/a/46355

Can she do the job she's been employed by the Dropbox board to do regardless of her background? If so, then good for her. If it will make for a better product that I continually use, then happy days. :-)

Good thing that I never used the service and now never will!
For ppl like her, it's all about understanding in the first place, then exploiting the loopholes &/or finding other alternatives.

If you're "pro privacy", Dropbox really isn't for you!

Remember the security breech they had several years ago that allowed you to access anyone's dropbox without a password?! ...or the fact that they still reserve the right to scan your files, etc (as does Microsoft with their Sky/One Drive, and Google with their GDrive, etc)

I think BitTorrent Sync has got the right idea "No one can steal your data from the cloud if your data is not in the cloud" :) ...no wonder DropBox users are switching to Sync in their droves!!

So they already have issues with people switching from American providers to European and others, because of the Snowden reveals and now they appoint Rice?
Do they have a death wish? Seriously, how can you be that stupid?

LOL! All this uproar over Dropbox while the current administration continues to expand the NSA surveillance programme and hardly a word said. Anyone *really* concerned about "privacy" would not have been using Dropbox or any cloud service to begin with.

And another round of people attacking a company for appointing someone to a job that has a political or social view different from your own even though they are qualified to fill said job.

Only this time its not a CEO.

If Rice is qualified for her position and her personal views on other topics has no effect on doing that job properly, then Dropbox should stick with her.

Yeah it is sad. Nobody is allowed to have a political opinion or personal point of view in this country anymore. They will be shunned and shamed. How sad the United States has become.

trooper11 said,
And another round of people attacking a company for appointing someone to a job that has a political or social view different from your own even though they are qualified to fill said job.

How is she qualified?, Did she build a career in business and/or technology?.

Just set up SFTP over VPN with GPG encrypted files and share the keys in person for decryption on airgapped PCs only.

you know, I'd like to see where this goes. I mean, it's not as if she has complete control over anything at Dropbox.

Admittedly, I've never used Dropbox. Was/is their commitment to privacy really that different from any other file locker?

They can't drop her or they will appear racist. I for one will drop, DropBox if that happens.

Besides, her experience and knowledge vastly triumphs that of the community organizer that is currently residing in the White house. No affirmative action here... Go Rice

Wait so IF they drop her.. It will 'appear' racist, ecause she happens to be Black? Huhwat... I think you may require glasses

This has ZERO to do with race and everything to do with her own actions past, present and future. Shes earned horrible reputation

You will get rid of Dropbox if they ever believe that Condoleeza Rice is no loner required?

I'm really hoping you worded that wrong because it sounds like you are looking for an excuse to use racism as a motive for standard business decisions and that's wrong. It hurts people that truly experience racism.

1TechGuru said,
They can't drop her or they will appear racist. I for one will drop, DropBox if that happens.

What the hell are you talking about, and why are you bringing skin colour into this?

elenarie said,

What the hell are you talking about, and why are you bringing skin colour into this?

Because people scream racist at the first criticism of Obama. Now the shoe is on the other foot.

@Lord Method Man,

Exactly, you got my sarcasm.

Find it ironic how liberals are so intolerant. First, they go after the former CEO of Mozilla and now Condoleeza Rice. They (liberals) clearly must be racists?

My thoughts, the CEO of Mozilla should not have resigned and way to go Condoleeza…

Most people who do criticize Obama do have racial problems. It's a fact that people try to hide but it's true. You people want a guy who's skin color matches the "White" in White House.

1TechGuru said,
The B.O administration is way worse when it comes to NSA and privacy rights. Lesson learned.. don't trust the government.

Rofl ... Really ? You really believe that ? It's all the same ####. NSA spying program has been going on for decades, it was just increased by many folds when the patriot acts and all the other laws came into effect. Just because you started to hear about it recently, doesn't mean it started only a few years ago, these spooks are always lying, even the government itself didn't know they were spying on them as well.

Ironic that it was "Small Government Conservatives that passed the Patriot Act and gave these powers to Bush and Obama.

But the black guy wasn't suppose to hear your phone calls. It was ok when the white guy did it but the color guy doing it of course has to be tyranny.

Good luck with that. But they must be completely out of reality to think that allowing someone of the Bush's cabinet should even be anywhere close to the most private of services like an online locker.

Not that Rice will have any major impact in the business ethics, but the tarnished administration of the Bush era is enough to drive business away in droves.

Edited by cetla, Apr 11 2014, 11:38pm :

cetla said,
they must be completely out of reality to think that allowing someone of the Bush's cabinet should even be anywhere close to the most private of services like an online locker.
Or they are completely lying about the privacy.