The more we come to rely on cloud services with our Windows Phones, the more we need to have assurances that our information is protected from unlawful or unauthorized access. The tie in with SkyDrive is obvious but we are also seeing more apps incorporate Dropbox support to store and share data. Password Manager for example is an app where you can manage all your bank account information, passwords, and PIN numbers. Password Manager supports Dropbox to backup and share that information with your home computer. We expect Dropbox to protect this data from unlawful and unauthorized access.
Dropbox Reader is a new tool that gives us pause. Dropbox Reader is a forensic investigative tool that basically breaks through the security encryption on Dropbox and allows anyone with the tool the ability to view your data and account information. At first we thought this might be a tool limited to law enforcement investigations but in reading the licensing information,
"You may use this software freely for forensic investigation purposes, personal study, or research and development."
I guess identity theft could be twisted to mean "research and development". Such programs should be regulated to prevent the average joe from hacking into your information.
Cloud services such as Dropbox and Skydrive have the customary clauses in the Terms of Service that allow for the lawful access to your information by a third party (e.g. search warrant) which is reasonable. What isn't reasonable is allowing a third party app to access your information without permission or authority. We'll always have hackers out there trying to by-pass cloud security but it shouldn't be this easy.
Dropbox Reader is another reason to be careful on what your put out in the cloud as well as what service you choose. We hope Dropbox will address this issue to prevent anyone from downloading programs such as Dropbox Reader and accessing our accounts without the proper authorizations.