Security and Privacy Concern about Logos4 Phonning Home

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Posts 232
AndyTheGreek | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 23 2010 4:11 AM

This is isn't a question of whether we can or should trust Logos. I am certain that they are honest and trustworthy both as a Corporation and, in general, as individuals. It's about the fact that storing my data on someone else's system increases the risk of someone accessing my stuff without my consent.

It could be a rogue employee at Logos but, more likely, a server hacker who is looking for personal info. If Logos use a 3rd party 'cloud' to store the data on (and it seems they are/will do) then it makes the data more vulnerable as the 'target', as it were, becomes bigger.

The issue isn't really about whether my data being hacked would lead to embarrassment (or even a lawsuit) - it's about my right to privacy. My data is my data and I should be able to control who sees it. OK, that's idealistic but Logos should, out of plain respect for my privacy, allow me to choose whether or not I want my notes, and eventually resources, to be stored and only accessed from external servers. I think it is phony reasoning to say I have to be careful how I use the program. No. I should be able to configure the program so that I can use it in a way that satisfies my need/desire for privacy.

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 23 2010 7:09 AM

Andy Bell:
This is isn't a question of whether we can or should trust Logos
 
Andy Bell:
it's about my right to privacy.

No "Andy Bell" ( if that is your real name  Wink.)  You are faced with choices every day how deeply you want to interact with the rest of the world and expose yourself to risks. When you ride in a car you are risking an accident. When you attend church or school, you are risking getting sick during flu season. You forfeit your privacy to your bank, insurance company, medical records personel, and the list is endless......
(Oh, Did you know the insurance companies in the USA have been sharing your "private" health data for years in a pool similar to a credit bureau? They say it is to prevent you from committing insurance fraud. But they are likely tagging all who have genetic predispositions for disease so they can identify your offspring for whatever plans the goverment has for the sickly. )

Tes asked a simple question: "Is there any one who has bad experience with Logos in this matter? "
Logos is not the soft spot of vulnerability. The next terrorist attack on the USA will likely be by computer against the financial industry.

If you are only concerned with the principle of your "privacy" being violated; you are your own worst enemy. To interact with a planet of billions of people and expect perfect privacy is "Lady Godiva" self-talk.

I would be tickled if Logos could give privacy advocates what they are asking for. I do not want to sacrifice functionality to obtain "privacy" I don't need. To me the focus should be: "Does Logos do what it was designed to do?" Let's work on enhancing that first.

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

Posts 232
AndyTheGreek | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 23 2010 8:46 AM

Smile It is my real name.

As I said, it is being idealistic to expect perfect privacy. As I am not from the USA, some of your comparisons are irrelevant, although similar things may well take place where I live - although the UK Government did offer me the choice as to whether the new National Health database would store all my current medical records etc. So I could rephrase my statement and say 'it's about having choices'.

I fully agree that perfect privacy is an illusion. But that doesn't make a lack of privacy right, it just makes it inevitable.

Logos 4 is a 'brave new world' (for want of a better expression) and has the distinct advantage of being new and having the opportunity to make choices before blithely implementing decisions.

Some of us would prefer to have the software offer a choice of where to store the data. Considering that, currently, Logos 4 stores gigabytes of data on the local hard disk, there isn't a good technological reason for not storing notes locally too. Neither is having a choice of data location a difficult thing to implement -as an IT professional I know what is and what isn't difficult and this is not difficult, so there is no question that Logos taking a few man days to implement this would seriously impact on their delivering other functionality.

As to the move to 'the cloud' I fully agree with the poster who said that a move to cloud computing is not a given. Global Corporations who have need for global data availability may use such a thing - although most already do - it's called a database and a Virtual Private Network. In a year or even sooner, we may find the clouds have 'rolled away' and the big guns in the software industry are marketing the next 'big thing' - wherever they perceive the £££ & $$$ to be. But most Logos users are, I suspect, individuals or local communities who just don't need to access their data from varying locations around the globe. And if I do need/want to access it, as I did on a recent holiday, I just took my netbook with me. Before anyone cries out 'but that's just as big a risk as putting the data in a cloud', I would point out that a program called TrueCrypt can make a portable computer's data as inaccessible as it is possible to make it...Smile

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 23 2010 11:01 AM

Andy Bell:
Some of us would prefer to have the software offer a choice of where to store the data.

I am all for choices and think you've made many good points. I worry that it would detract from further program development to go back and rework the whole foundation of Logos 4. It just doesn't seem like a three day fix. And If I have to choose between current momentum of program developments and the privacy of my data, I''d go with the former.

btw: Your response has been the calmest and most convincing in the forums. Most "privacy" proponents, similar to Chicken Little in the fairy tale, say "the sky is falling" when, in fact, it fell a long time ago. Running Logos 4 isn't as risky as running Windows........Huh?

Lastly, TrueCrypt is not impenetrable.

I'm with you Andy. Give me a local storage option. Yes

 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 23 2010 11:19 AM

Andy Bell:
Considering that, currently, Logos 4 stores gigabytes of data on the local hard disk, there isn't a good technological reason for not storing notes locally too.

I suspect you misspoke here - your notes are stored locally as is all your user generated data. That enables Logos to work off line. The purpose of the cloud storage is to enable the syncing of data across multiple platforms - home computer, laptop, cell phone, iPad etc.

 

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 232
AndyTheGreek | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 23 2010 12:19 PM

MJ. Smith:

Andy Bell:
Considering that, currently, Logos 4 stores gigabytes of data on the local hard disk, there isn't a good technological reason for not storing notes locally too.

I suspect you misspoke here - your notes are stored locally as is all your user generated data. That enables Logos to work off line. The purpose of the cloud storage is to enable the syncing of data across multiple platforms - home computer, laptop, cell phone, iPad etc.

Thanks for the clarification - I din't realise that this was the case. However, this makes setting an option not to share notes via the cloud a truly trivial operation. In 'pseudo code':

IF shareNotes == true

    call ShareNotes

END IF

Obviously, I don't know the internals of the Logos code, but assuming they have properly segregated discreet operations into discreet 'methods' then it really would be this simple to do it.

In fact, such logic must exist because the code already has to deal with offline mode:

IF online == true

    call Share Routine(s)

END IF

So, it becomes even more trivial to implement a non-share mode.

I'm sorry, but I feel that the refusal to implement things like this and 'choose what you download' more and more reflect stubborness rather than anything else. A company I know has lost (probably) millions of $$$ due to this attitude. Now they have moved onto Agile Development where one of the cornerstones is 'give the customer what they ask for' unless it is impossible to do so. But I fear it is way too late for them - they alienated too many clients.

In both of my requests the functionality is actually 99% there - offline mode and hide resources are almost, but not quite, what I and others keep asking for. The effort to introduce these is minimal and, once done, stays done. It doesn't burden Logos with a huge maintenance issue down the line and it would put and end to a decent proportion of the 'complaining' of their customers, leaving just the speed issue and the bug reports...

Just my 2 penny's worth...

 

Posts 232
AndyTheGreek | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 23 2010 12:26 PM

Matthew C Jones:

Andy Bell:
Some of us would prefer to have the software offer a choice of where to store the data.

I am all for choices and think you've made many good points. I worry that it would detract from further program development to go back and rework the whole foundation of Logos 4. It just doesn't seem like a three day fix. And If I have to choose between current momentum of program developments and the privacy of my data, I''d go with the former.

btw: Your response has been the calmest and most convincing in the forums. Most "privacy" proponents, similar to Chicken Little in the fairy tale, say "the sky is falling" when, in fact, it fell a long time ago. Running Logos 4 isn't as risky as running Windows........Huh?

Lastly, TrueCrypt is not impenetrable.

I'm with you Andy. Give me a local storage option. Yesifferent

Thanks for the compliment. I try to be as objective as I can be and I really hate getting into 'arguments' of the confrontational kind. I just try to make my case with non-emotional 'arguments' of the logical kind and try avoid falling into the numerous logical fallacies that are all to easy to commit. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I'm left blushing...

Indeed TrueCrypt is not bulletproof, but it uses similar (or identical) encryption algoriythms that HTTPS and other online storage (e.g clouds) systems use. If I lose my netbook and someone breaks into it I take full responsibility. But if someone else 'loses' my data because they get hacked then it's a different picture, even if only marginally so. That difference becomes greater when I lack the choice not to have the data stored and, being human, I simply forget not to use notes or, like many Logos users who don't frequest these forums, use notes without realising the conseqences. If they only use Logos 4 from one location, they may never even realise that their notes, possibly incredibly personal notes, are being sent via the internet to someone else's database.

So, I suppose that's another thing - Logos never really asks permission to store these notes - if I turn on 'use internet' in order to get update notifications then my notes automatically synch without even telling me that it's happening. Had it not been for this thread I may never have known it was happening. I don't think this is a good thing.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 23 2010 3:47 PM

Andy Bell:
In both of my requests the functionality is actually 99% there - offline mode and hide resources are almost, but not quite, what I and others keep asking for. The effort to introduce these is minimal and, once done, stays done.

Just curious, what do you want with regards to hide resources that is not there?

An offline mode, other than the current form, may be easy to code but the library maintenance, upgrades, and multi-platform version all are designed around a premise that would no longer be true. I would not hazard a guess as to the consequences of such a change. My hunch is that it would not be trivial.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 232
AndyTheGreek | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 23 2010 4:38 PM

MJ. Smith:

Andy Bell:
In both of my requests the functionality is actually 99% there - offline mode and hide resources are almost, but not quite, what I and others keep asking for. The effort to introduce these is minimal and, once done, stays done.

Just curious, what do you want with regards to hide resources that is not there?

An offline mode, other than the current form, may be easy to code but the library maintenance, upgrades, and multi-platform version all are designed around a premise that would no longer be true. I would not hazard a guess as to the consequences of such a change. My hunch is that it would not be trivial.

Maybe I haven't explained myself very clearly - a common fault of mine - let me go into more depth.

My understanding is that when I hide a resource:

  • It gets deleted from my hard drive
  • It no longer gets updated
  • If I want to see that resource again I have to un-hide it, whereupon the latest version of that resource is downloaded.
  • Whilst the resource is hidden, effectively, it is the same as not having it. I just have the 'right' to have it if I want it later.

Correct?

What I'm asking for is, effectively, the ability to pre-hide the resource. In other words to say "no, dont download it, just make it hidden". If you have the luxuary of unlimited, fast, downloads this request might seem pedantic or over the top. If, on the other hand, like me, you have a relatively slow connection and a limited bandwidth with excess charges that resemble usury then this request will seem more reasonable.

Thius far I have paid more in bandwidth charges to download Logos than I did for the minimal crossgrade. I haven't gone up to a package because it would cost too much to download it and getting a DVD for the initial resources and then a DVD for each major upgrade would be too inconvenient. Worse still, the things that cost me excess bandwidth charges (graphics in the main) were of no real value to me as I use Logos 99% of the time for Greek studies. I didn't realise they could be hidden and ended up paying more bandwidth charges on one of the early updates. At that point I reverted to Logos 3 but, upon learning of both the ability to hide a resource and that it meant more than just not have it clutter up my Library Resource List (as the term 'hide' doesn't really express the full operations carried out by 'hide') I revisited Logos 4, and now use 3 when I need PBB access and sentence diagramming.

So, hopefully, this clarification makes what I'm asking for a bit clearer - yes? No? Maybe?Big Smile

It's hard to know what the real consequences of implementing a 'no update' mode and a 'pre-hide resources' mode would be because we don't have the code in front of us to look at. But, because the functionality almost exists I suspect it would not be that great. Pre-hiding is exactly the same as hiding, except you don't do the initial download. That's a win-win as far as I can see as it would save Logos some bandwidth and, therefore, cost. Offline mode is actually 'no upload of notes mode' on steroids as it has to cater for the non-availability of all internet operations. So, the ability to handle non upload of notes already exists within Logos 4 it just hasn't been made explicity available.

I can't think of a more benign set of requests and cannot understand Logos' resistance to them. Even if they really believe that "the cloud is coming and it will conquer the world"Smile they have already built contigency into Logos 4 for those who operate under cloudless skies Cool i.e. offline mode and the DVD distribution of resources and that your licence key can be sent to you so that Logos 4 can be activated and run sans any internet connection at all.

It's 99% there...

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 23 2010 5:07 PM

Andy Bell:
What I'm asking for is, effectively, the ability to pre-hide the resource. In other words to say "no, dont download it, just make it hidden".

This makes perfect sense. You are correct that it is difficult to imagine a "terrible" downside to the option. Have you suggested it on user voice? As I'm sure you've guessed, on the no backup issue I can see few enough potential problems that I am not willing to say "no big deal" - I'll only go so far as to say, could be, could not be - who am I to know?

edited to clarify - it had been correctly interpreted.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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JimTowler | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 23 2010 6:34 PM

MJ. Smith:
As I'm sure you've guessed, on the no backup issue I can see enough potential problems that I am not willing to say "no big deal"

At present, Logos4 has no backups!!!

Try and restore an item that got deleted last week!!!

(Bob has indicated a future EXPORT function. Assuming import too, that's 99% or more towards a backup, as long as we can be selective about an import.)

I'm with many of ther others here: Logos4 already can operate without all resources being downloaded, and without internet sync to cloud. We just need that as an option. My Logos4 operates with Internet=on, and I've purchased new resources and downloaded them etc, but my system no longer syncs to the cloud as I have it disabled. Everything else works fine. Now just please add it as an option so I don't have to use work-arounds to disable sync. Even better - make it selective by item. Them are some items I'd rather have sync as I think it might be useful.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 23 2010 7:21 PM

Jim Towler:

At present, Logos4 has no backups!!!

Try and restore an item that got deleted last week!!!

I have no applications that can restore at the record level rather than at the file level. While I have not had reason to restore from it, it is my understanding from the forums that individuals have recovered from their own backup - I'm uncertain whether it was at the database or application level.

Because I have never had a system that permitted me to restore at a record level a week later, I've never developed habits dependent upon that feature. However, if I lost something sufficiently critical, I know how to extract records from my personal backup of the db and recreate the record(s). Of course, I also backup my entire computer off site. However, my assessment of the risk for ever needing to use it for Logos (as opposed to the Logos backup) is very small.

My attitude is to identify what Logos is doing for me and use that as the parameters of determining what I need to do for myself.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 36
Randy Starkey | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 23 2010 7:53 PM

Jim,

The "internet off" switch is off for "automatic" things. Manual operations are not included, and I for one would not want them to be. I don't want to have to re-enable internet to do a manual operation. When you say L4 is not respecting the internet off switch, you are saying so by your definition. I personally would not define it the way you do. I prefer the definition of off for "automatic" things only, with manual choices still available.

The issue of notes is a separate issue and is worthy of discussion from a privacy level. Other than notes and similar, privacy is not much of an issue in L4 IMO.

--Randy Starkey

Posts 1367
JimTowler | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 23 2010 9:02 PM

Randy Starkey:
The "internet off" switch is off for "automatic" things. Manual operations are not included, and I for one would not want them to be.

Hi Randy,

If you look back over about the first 20-30 postings here, you will see me and other agree with what you just said.

The "use Internet" switch appears to only control the "automatic" use, but does not limit the manual actions, e.g. "Update Now".

This thread has become more about not being able to officially disable sync-to-cloud, in total or by item, without also losing other functions of the application by turning everything off.

Also, a few of the comments have been in direct response to comments or questions by one or more Logos staff members, so there are a few different ideas here at times. Including my comments that we have no backups at present, in the sense that we can not recover a lost Note, Colection Rule, Prayer List etc.

Internally Logos4 appears to be a database application, but from the users angle, our Notes, Prayers, and the like "appear" as seperate files. Except we don't have file-level backup and restore.

Bob says an export is coming. My hope is that by exporting selected content, that will give us file-level backup and restore, so our Notes can be protected from user error, change of mind, application bugs, database corruptions, Logos server failures etc. (Something we have in L3 but lost in Logos4. A most critical feature for some users. Some have hundreds of Notes, and years of sermon prep stored, and for them, the risk of loss is a big deal.)

So far, I don't know if anyone as asked if Logos backs up our data that is saved to the cloud. I'd be happier if I could export and backup my own notes after any major edits or period of new content.

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 24 2010 12:11 AM

Jim Towler:
So far, I don't know if anyone as asked if Logos backs up our data that is saved to the cloud.

No one has asked if Logos backup the forum or their web page! My point is that the question doesn't accomplish anything given the concerns that exist in this thread. It's safe to assume that servers use redundant methods when writing data to protect against drive failure and users should be protecting against the same eventuality with a separate backup.

[Beyond the redundancy issue any business should ensure frequent offline backups occur, but in the event of catastrophic failure Logos will use what is on our hard drive!]

Dave
===

Windows 10 & Android 8

Posts 232
AndyTheGreek | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 24 2010 12:33 AM

I haven't tried this (yet) but I wonder if manually backing up this folder:

LogosInstall\Documents\RANDOM_CHARS\Documents

would be a short term workaround for the lack of a local backup facility. Logos locally stores each type of data (Notes, Handouts etc) in their own database so this might work.

I will give it a go and report back the results...

Posts 232
AndyTheGreek | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 24 2010 12:49 AM

Andy Bell:

I haven't tried this (yet) but I wonder if manually backing up this folder:

LogosInstall\Documents\RANDOM_CHARS\Documents

would be a short term workaround for the lack of a local backup facility. Logos locally stores each type of data (Notes, Handouts etc) in their own database so this might work.

I will give it a go and report back the results...

Scrap this idea - it doesn't work Sad Even with Use Internet = off, deleted notes are not restored when this folder is restored. I would imagine a full backup of the entire logos install would, with use internet = off, restore items deleted since that backup was made, but it just isn't practical to make such huge backups regularly.

Posts 232
AndyTheGreek | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 24 2010 12:50 AM

MJ. Smith:

Andy Bell:
What I'm asking for is, effectively, the ability to pre-hide the resource. In other words to say "no, dont download it, just make it hidden".

This makes perfect sense. You are correct that it is difficult to imagine a "terrible" downside to the option. Have you suggested it on user voice? As I'm sure you've guessed, on the no backup issue I can see few enough potential problems that I am not willing to say "no big deal" - I'll only go so far as to say, could be, could not be - who am I to know?

edited to clarify - it had been correctly interpreted.

I will draw up a user voice suggestion later today... Or I would if I could find a link to the user voice page Crying Could someone point me to the right place?

Posts 134
Esther Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 24 2010 5:40 AM

At the risk of sounding as if I don't know what I'm talking about, or that I'm trying to get people to move away from using L4...I would like to suggest that perhaps L4 is not the correct software for the OP???

Perhaps there is a software that does not put your private information at risk the way you think L4 does, and perhaps that is the software you should be using, instead of L4.

L4 is very clear about how they operate, and how sync-ing with the cloud is part of the future of the software.  So those who have these privacy concerns might need to reconsider their purchase IF the risk is truly as large as the OP and others on the thread seem to suggest.

Please hear me:  I'm not trying to be confrontational, just wondering why one who holds these opinions concerning their privacy would purchase a software product that they know up front is going to compromise them?

Esther

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