Dropbox does not admit that some researchers have access to non-anonymous user service data.
Let's see how everything started:
A study that was published on Friday by researchers at Northwestern University, reportedly obtained information from a Dropbox information manager, The study looked at how the platforms collaboration are used by different groups of people.
The research states at one point that Dropbox "gave [researchers] access to dossier data" for two years from about 400.000 users at 1.000 universities. According to the publication, the data were "collected and anonymized" by the researchers.
The researchers reported that the data included the "total number of folders, the structure of each folder, and access to sharedfiles". But according to the researchers, they and Dropbox employees "couldn't see personal information."
Still, the researchers claimed to see “every folder in Dropbox associated with a particular researcher, who the folder was shared with, how often the folder was accessed, anyone connected to it, how long everyone stayed in each project, and how users managed their time across projects.”
The above reports led to many Twitter protests from well-known academics.
On the other hand, Dropbox denied all of the above with a statement posted electronically to ZDNet:
"To be clear, before giving Dropbox user data to researchers, Dropbox permanently anonymized it, making any identifiable user information unreadable, such as emails and shared folder IDs."
"This process prevented [the researchers] from seeing any of the personal information, but allowed them to analyze the data anonymously," the statement said.
Από την άλλη δεν είναι γνωστό αν από αυτούς που χρησιμοποιήθηκαν τα δεδομένα τους ζητήθηκε η ρητή άδειά τους. Η Drοpbox δεν έχει απαντήσει προς το παρόν. Επίσης, δεν είναι σαφές ποιος ήταν ο ρόλος ή πρόσβαση που είχε ο εργαζόμενος της companyς στα δεδομένα και γιατί η Drοpbox δεν έλεγξε τα αποτελέσματα πριν δημοσιευθούν.