Insightful article from Brad Stone and Ari Levy, for Bloomberg Businessweek. There’s something worrying about the new Dropbox direction, though:
After a months-long search, the company recently added a chief operating officer, former Google executive and Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside. Dropbox has also added a prominent fourth member to a board of directors that Houston has until now kept small — Condoleezza Rice. The former secretary of state’s consulting firm, RiceHadleyGates, has been advising the startup on management issues for the last year. Now she’ll help the company think about such matters as international expansion and privacy, an issue that dogs every cloud company in the age of Edward Snowden and the NSA. “As a country, we are having a great national conversation and debate about exactly how to manage privacy concerns,” Rice says about her new position. “I look forward to helping Dropbox navigate it.”
Rice was the American National Security Advisor from 2001 until 2005, and was Secretary of State thereafter until 2008; she was therefore one of the people who helped craft the eavesdropping laws and strategy that form the backbone of the “great national … debate about … privacy”. To my knowledge, she has not changed her views on these issues, nor publicly disagreed with warrantless wiretapping or other anti-privacy policies. Now she’s advising Dropbox on privacy. That’s worrying.