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Team Sky Doctor Thought Dropbox Was Hard To Use And ‘Insecure’

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Sir Bradley Wiggins’ medical records were not uploaded to Dropbox because former doctor had usability and security concerns, a parliamentary inquiry hears

Former Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman said he didn’t upload the medical records of Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins to Dropbox because he didn’t find the platform easy to use and because he had concerns about its security.

This is despite the fact he was the person who set up the use of the cloud software to record such data. However, according to The Telegraph, Freeman said the team introduced Dropbox for post-race communication and in 2011 decided to use it to share medical information.

“It was never meant to replace individual doctors’ medical records [although ultimately this occurred],” he is quoted as saying in a written statement to the Parliamentary Culture, Media and Sport committee, which is currently investigating the medical practices of Team Sky.

Dropbox securitybot

Dropbox Team Sky

Freeman instead reverted to his own notes taking on both pen and paper and on his own laptop – however this was lost on a holiday in Greece back in 2014 and the absence of cloud backups is something he said he regrets.

“I accept that it would have been desirable to have backed up my clinical records, whatever system was used,” he added. “I regret not doing this.”

Dropbox declined to comment to Silicon  but it has made significant investments in security as it seeks to chase the lucrative business market and offset any concerns about privacy.

The platform is compliant with Privacy Shield, data can be stored in AWS data centres in Europe and its most recent tool is a security bot that aims to stop ‘alert fatigue’ among users who see so many notifications they become immune to them.

However it had to apologise to customers earlier this year after a bug saw some files deleted as far back as 2009 restored to user accounts. Dropbox also sees the ‘ease of use’ of its platform as essential to conquering the business and enterprise sectors, not only from a front end point of view but also in its admin consoles.

Ignoring the other aspects of the parliamentary investigation, such as whether there has been any wrongdoing, the case shows how difficult it can be to change the behaviour of some staff, no matter how much effort an IT department makes or what policies are enforced.

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