Roland Dürre
Saturday October 13th, 2012

Who is Scared of the Boogey Man?

Everybody is scared of the “Cloud”. Because the Boogey Men inside the Cloud eat our data and/or use them in an illegal way. Our precious personal data!

It is particularly bad if the Cloud is outside our country. After all, there is no control possible. The US secret service might well read our data. However, matters are not really improved if the Cloud sits (hovers over) Germany. Perhaps the US secret service cannot read our data in that case, but the German secret service certainly will. And, basically, I do not care which secret service reads my data.

Why are we feeling so protective of our data? I cannot understand it. Nothing has as little importance in my life as my data. If there is anything you wish to know about me, just go ahead and ask! It will be my pleasure to answer – even publicly. Most of the things about me will be found at or, anyway.

If I were the anxious type, I would certainly be scared of Clouds. But I mean totally different Clouds. Those I am actually dependent on. Those that are the basis for all I truly need in order to survive.


Water comes through the tap. It gives me access to the water Cloud. It is rather insecure, isn’t it? Evil-doers could pour poison in it at many places. To be sure, we only know the poison terror at the water station from the cinema – but it could easily become reality. An evil terrorist would be all it takes to kill us all.

Bottled water from the supermarket will not help, either. This Cloud, too, has too many weak points. An evil-doer would easily find ways in. Today, hardly anybody still has his or her own well. Incidentally, it would not help, because the Cloud of dioxins or radioactivity is already on its way to poison it, anyway.

Nor is it a brilliant idea to drink beer instead. Too often, it comes from the InBev Cloud. And on a rather risky way at that. Until finally it ends up in the safe haven of my refrigerator.


All food, be it deep-frozen, corn, all kinds of basic nourishment, vegetables and fruit, fish or meat, canteen food: all comes from the Cloud. And once in a while, something unfortunate happens there. Sometimes the Cloud produces chicken that contains a little dioxin, sometimes it is the deep-frozen strawberries. They come from China and make our children sick. I certainly cannot understand why we in Germany would need to eat deep-frozen strawberries from China. After all, there are enough apples, pears, plumes… right here in the country. But the Cloud makes it possible. And certainly not from the neighborhood.

But we trust in the Cloud. It will certainly feed the entire world and continue to do so tomorrow, as well …


Electrical energy comes from the electrical socket. It is the interface to the Cloud. The fuel comes from the pump at the gas station. When the Cloud will no longer supply us with electrical energy, the lights go out. When the pump at the gas station provides only drops, the cars will just stand around and be useless.

We do not know where the electrical energy or the fuel originated. Neither do we want to know. The Cloud will certainly provide. With or without an about-face in energy politics. Besides, energy is, after all, not quite as important as water or food. Nothing serious is happening if the electrical energy is sometimes polluted.


You cannot eat money. For life, it is even less important than energy. Most of us have too much, anyway. Which is why we buy all kinds of useless things we do not really need. Whatever is left of our money will be stored at the bank. That is how we learned it! For too many years, we have been instructed that the only person hiding her money in her socks or underneath the sofa is the stupid grandmother. No! Apparently, we think the money Cloud is very nice and even system relevant. And consequently, we hand our entire money over to it. Because we want the Cloud to let our money work for us. And when we do not have enough money, we go and get it there.

Water, food, energy, money and much more comes from the Cloud. Basically, I cannot imagine anything today not coming from the Cloud. And still we have no problems sleeping soundly …

Only when our data are inside the Cloud, we cannot sleep any more. Why is that so? Are we scared of our data? Why are we so afraid that others might get to know who we really are? Do our data remind us of our evil deeds? Quasi like a modern bad conscience?

I must confess that I generally fail to understand the sometimes collective sometimes individual hysterical reaction when it comes to personal data. And, to me, it does not matter if these data are in the Cloud or somewhere else. I still have quite a few plans for my life. But I would never, ever agree to do the job of data protection commissioner.


(Translated by EG)


In my book passphrases and passwords for internet pages such as Ebay or for the bank are not data, but keys. And, of course, you should always be careful with keys. Even though I must admit that I am actually quite careless with my house keys.

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