Using iCloud for business—not a good practice

Continuing the discussion from MacBook Pro M1 Pro: questions:

Harvest brought up the following consideration in another thread. It deserves its own thread

Just be aware that iCloud is strictly private, no business use intended. If you store business data on the iCloud that include e.g. GDPR related stuff you not only go against for example european jurisdiction but also against Apples eula for iCloud.


I would have called this done or dealt with in the other thread but as this has now it's own just an additional quote from the German iCloud agreement:

"[...] Außerdem stimmst du zu, dass der Dienst nur für den privaten Gebrauch bestimmt ist [...]"

for me this translates to

"You also agree that the service is for private use only"

If you look for iCloud and business use case in the german webspace (don't know if this is a valid term) the main approach is: at least be careful but if you take legislation serious avoid using iCloud for business data.

I'm no legal advisor, everybody has to get to their own conclusions - and of course I didn't do any recherche work on iCloud agreements for other countries. Thus your milage may vary.

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One interpretation is this phrase prevents users from reselling iCloud storage.

What about MS OneDrive for business use? I have a professional Office 365 account which I believe could be used for business. I'm a mac guy so I really don't use the MS stuff; just have it for that occasional need. Just curious if O365 would be an alternative.

@OliverBarrett, my previous investigations into using OneDrive in the UK was that all of Microsoft's servers are based in UK data centres. I haven't waded through their personal data documentation since 2018 when GDPR came into force and haven't investigated where the data centres are backed up to.

As per my comments in the MacBook Pro M1 Pro: questions - #15 by harvest discussion, I don't believe there is anything to prevent business use as per Apple's (in this case UK) legal notice Legal - iCloud - Apple.

However, personal data must be assessed on a supplier by supplier basis, in Apple's case: Legal - Apple Privacy Policy - Apple

Europe and the US have changed their privacy arrangements frequently over the last few years and each time they do, legal challenges put them in doubt again. The UK will no doubt come up with some form of flawed post Brexit changes to GDPR in the not too distant future, just to ensure we have something else to deal with instead of focussing on running our businesses. However, any business storing data about European citizens must be GDPR compliant.

Personally I think it is all a bit crazy. I can't imagine how much data Apple have about me having used and purchased Macs for over 30-years, having worked for an Apple reseller, being the purchaser of Apple equipment for our business and with a wife and 2 children who all have at least 2 Apple devices each. The idea that someone couldn't put my details on iCloud seems laughable. However, legally this all pales into insignificance!

All the best

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I knew it would be an "Pandorra's Box" opening :sunglasses:
Although it might as well be a can of worms...

Again as far as I know this is only valid for Germany, but here a wide spectrum of IT- and data protection experts advice against MS Office 365/Azure Service usage.

Plus this has become a - and will so more and more - political discussion here too.

But that does not matter in most cases. Businesses use MS products without thinking twice here.

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It's actually an interesting discussion. I'm glad you brought it up. :slight_smile:

interesting - how about using keychain and iCloud Keychain syncing? Could be used to sync credentials to access FM files ..

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This is also a country by country issue. It is illegal in many countries to store data on servers outside of their borders, or the region they exist in.

A couple of useful websites:

A search on ‘data localization law’ provides a lot of info on this.