The file hosting service Dropbox has announced it will stop offering unlimited cloud storage to users. The cloud – as its name unfortunately suggests – gives the impression that it will never be filled. We can feel that there are no consequences to relying excessively upon it. There have been growing calls to bring attention to the climate impact of cloud storage. Now, its unlimited-ness is being brought to question.
Dropbox Reigns In Excess
Dropbox claims its unlimited storage option has been taken advantage of by users reselling storage or crypto mining. This misuse has led the company to now provide 15Tb, replacing the tier with “as much space as you need”. According to Dropbox, irresponsible use of their service has recently increased to a level where they felt the need to intervene.
The company wrote the following in a statement…
“In recent months, we’ve seen a surge of this behaviour in the wake of other services making similar policy changes,”
“We’ve observed that customers like these frequently consume thousands of times more storage than our genuine business customers, which risks creating an unreliable experience for all of our customers.”
“Importantly, our policy for Advanced has always been to provide as much storage as needed to run a legitimate business or organisation, not to provide unlimited storage for any use case.”
Google’s Been There
Google made a similar decision in 2021 when it stopped allowing for unlimited storage on its Photos app. And last year limited the free tier for education users of Google Workspace to 100Tb. But sometimes this sort of restriction isn’t done as sensitively as we might like. Earlier this year, some users were locked out of their accounts when storage limits were enacted.
It’s not clear why Google made this move. Dropbox claims they were forced by crypto miners and users exploiting resources. If that were the only factor, surely limiting users storage space wouldn’t be an industry wide theme. So, is that really all there is to it?