Sarah Perez over on ReadWriteWeb has a blog post entitled In Cloud We Trust? where she states

Cloud computing may have been one of the biggest "buzzwords" (buzz phrases?) of this past year. From webmail to storage sites to web-based applications, everything online was sold under a new moniker in 2008: they're all "cloud" services now. Yet even though millions of internet users make use of these online services in some way, it seems that we haven't been completely sold on the cloud being any more safe or stable than data stored on our own computers.
Surprisingly, even on a site that tends to attract a lot of technology's earliest adopters, the responses were mixed. When asked the question: "Do you trust the cloud?," the majority of responses either came back as a flat-out "no" or as a longer explanation as to why their response was a "maybe" or a "sometimes." In other words, some people trust the cloud here, but not there, or for this, but not that.

The question this article asks is pointless on several levels.  First of all, it doesn't really matter if people trust the cloud or not. What matters is whether they use it or not. The average person doesn't trust computers, automobile mechanics or lawyers yet they use them anyway. Given the massive adoption of the Web from search engines and e-commerce sites to Web-based email and social networking services, it is clear that the average computer person trusts the cloud enough to part with their personal information and their money. Being scared and untrusting of the cloud is like being scared and untrusting of computers, it is a characteristic that belongs to an older generation while the younger generation couldn't imagine life any other way. It's like Douglas Adams wrote in his famous essay How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Internet back in 1999.

Secondly, people are often notoriously bad at assessing risk and often fail to consider that it is more likely that data loss will occur when their personal hardware fails given that the average computer user doesn't have a data backup strategy than it is likely to occur if their information is stored on some Web company's servers. For example, I still have emails from the last decade available to me in my Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail accounts. On the other hand, my personal archive of mail from the early 2000s which had survived being moved across three different desktop PCs was finally lost when the hard drive failed on my home computer a few months ago. I used to have a personal backup strategy for my home desktop but gave up after encountering the kinds of frustrations Mark Pilgrim eloquently rants about in his post Juggling Oranges. These days, I just put all the files and photos I'm sure I'd miss on SkyDrive and treat any file not worth uploading the cloud as being transient anyway. It is actually somewhat liberating since I no longer feel like I'm owned by all my digital stuff I have to catalog, manage and archive.

On a final note, the point isn't that there aren't valid concerns raised whenever this question is brought up. However progress will march on despite our  Luddite concerns because the genie is already out of the bottle. For most people the benefits of anywhere access to their data from virtually any device and being able to share their content with people on the Web far outweighs the costs of not being in complete control of the data. In much the same way, horseless carriages (aka automobiles) may cause a lot more problems than horse drawn carriages from the quarter ton of carbon monoxide poured into the air per year by an average car to the tens of thousands of people killed each year in car crashes, yet the benefits of automobiles powered by internal combustion engines is so significant that humanity has decided to live with the problems that come along with them.

The cloud Web is already here and it is here to stay. It's about time we stopped questioning it and got used to the idea.

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