The cloud is a marketing term referring to servers (computers) that are part of the Internet. The term is intentionally opaque and euphemistic, but the concept is relatively straightforward. The meaning of “the cloud” can usually be elucidated by substituting it with the phrase “someone else’s computer”:
- Cloud computing = computing on someone else’s computer
- Cloud sync = transmitting data through someone else’s computer
- Cloud storage = storing your data on someone else’s computer
Talking about “the cloud” instead obscures the fact that the user does not have any control over the computing that takes place on others’ computers, which is useful for enticing users to surrender their own computing to surveillance capitalists such as Google and Microsoft.