Evernote and the 100-year data guarantee

Posted on Thursday, June 28th, 02012 by Austin Brown
link Categories: Digital Dark Age, Long Term Thinking   chat 0 Comments

There are many many businesses that will store your data online for you, but few that actively address the problems of the digital dark age. While many people fear that incriminating or unflattering photos will live online forever, the opposite problem also lurks – your crucial or sentimentally valuable data can disappear when servers crash, products are discontinued, or companies go out of business.

Evernote is a service that saves users’ text, photos, website URLs, and other data. For anyone relying on the service to archive important information, access is vital. And for someone who’s spent years creating an ‘external brain’ with Evernote, some kind of long-term guarantee might function like a helmet, promising a bit of cushion in case of some sudden shock to the system.

Citing Long Now’s long-term focus as an inspiration, Evernote CEO Phil Libin announced at the recent Le Web London conference that the company will soon set up a protected fund and include a legally binding guaratee that users’ data will be maintained for 100 years, even if the company itself is bought or ceases to be.

It will be a very long time before anyone can determine the success of this effort, but it is an encouraging attempt at substantively grappling with the long-term.

  • love this.

  • Michelle

    As an avid Evernote fan, this pleases me immensely.  I was only discussing with my Dad today, about the fragility of digital information.  So many take it for granted.  Technologies that make it intuitive for storing and retrieving sensitive and valuable data are critically necessary.  Congrats to Evernote for taking the brave step of making this first baby step in that direction.

  • Josh Barkin

    They should create an app called “Capsule” that’s a time capsule. You pick a period of time that you virtually burry your media and can’t open it…. Say for 50 years. If you decide you want to open the capsule before the commuted time, you pay a premium

  • Matt

    Terra cotta jars are a better bet. They have a proven record of protecting documents from the elements and from prying eyes; power outages don’t affect them; and as a storage medium the technology never becomes obsolete and is non-proprietary…an open standard if you will.   

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