Windows Phone developers and users who have been using SkyDrive to backup application data have been violating Microsoft's policy, according to recent comments from company personnel. The news comes less than a week after a user said Microsoft blocked his access to the service for files in a private folder regarding a separate policy violation.
According to a post on MSDN from Mark Chamberlain, a Microsoft representative, developers who use SkyDrive as a backup tool for personal data are violating the service's policies. The Microsoft employee said developers who use SkyDrive in this manner put their apps at risk from being removed from the marketplace or rejected during the submission process.
SkyDrive is not intended to be a free backup solution for applications. Any attempts to use it as such is outside of the intended use of the service and the restrictions present in the API are intended to reinforce this. Any apps that do this are at risk of being rejected from Marketplace, or pulled from Marketplace at a later time.
The statement came in response to a user's question regarding why archive file formats aren't supported in SkyDrive. The user specifically stated that he or she was archiving data for upload to SkyDrive's servers. Chamberlain's statements were quickly met with objections from MSDN users, including a Nokia employee, Justin Angel, who stated the policy Chamberlain gave is not part of Microsoft's application certification guidelines.
Chamberlain later clarified the policy, saying that its goal is merely to "avoid the scenario whereby a user’s personal cloud storage doesn't end up overwhelmed with a collection of non-human readable content, that is the equivalent of computer files such as INI and XML config files." Chamberlain's statements have since led to a debate between Windows Phone developers in the thread about the lack of backup options for application data and the policy outlined by Chamberlain.
On Saturday, Microsoft responded to privacy concerns about SkyDrive by releasing a statement that said the company uses "strict internal policies" to limit its employees' access to private user data. The statement also said that any content found to be in violation of Microsoft's policies are subject to removal and the possible "temporary or permanent shutdown of an account."