I have been a long-time user of Quicken’s accounting products and have satisfied myself that they are adequate and sufficient for my needs, but still have a few annoying user interface flaws. The programs came in a box or was available for download onto my machine. I am responsible for my own backups and any consequential damages from misuse of the program as it resides on my system. And, if there is ever a legal challenge and a subpoena for my financial records, I can fight to quash the subpoena or limit the scope of my records production.
Now that Quicken has apparently eliminated boxed software and is transitioning to the cloud, I need to make a determination whether or not to go with the flow and pay that yearly fee – about the same as a discounted box of their software – or look for an alternative solution. The offer appears to have been sweetened as I can eliminate an additional bill for another Quicken service if I upgrade.
A few unanswered questions …
One, how is my data encrypted and who holds the encryption keys? At the present time, I can encrypt my backup data using the encryption program of my choice and my own super-strength encryption keys before uploading it to a cloud or mass storage device. It appears that this may not be the case with Quicken’s cloud product and I must rely on their systems and personnel – especially their unknown personnel who hold the keys to the kingdom.
Two, although any agreements are subject to California law, one wonders where the data is actually stored and if it will be stored in foreign countries far beyond the jurisdiction of any United States court. Possibly susceptible to terrorists or other evildoers.
Three, what protections actually exist to help me to recover from a security breach and resultant theft of assets from linked financial accounts?
However, it appears all of the sales bafflegab about security, safety, data access, and other matters may be little more than meaningless, unenforceable bafflegab!
I will be operating under Quicken’s unilateral “Terms of Service” and “Privacy” agreements which disproportionately protect the company from any claims of harm arising from the use of their product.
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Limitation of Liability. TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, WE AND OUR SUPPLIERS SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR FOR DAMAGES RELATING TO TELECOMMUNICATION FAILURES OR LOSS, CORRUPTION, FAILURE OF SECURITY OR THEFT OF DATA, VIRUSES, SPYWARE, OR THE LIKE, WHETHER BASED IN CONTRACT, TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE), PRODUCT LIABILITY OR OTHERWISE, EVEN IF WE OR OUR SUPPLIERS HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES AND EVEN IF A REMEDY SET FORTH HEREIN IS FOUND TO HAVE FAILED OF ITS ESSENTIAL PURPOSE. IN ADDITION, AND TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, THE MAXIMUM LIABILITY OF QUICKEN AND ITS SUPPLIERS FOR ANY AND ALL CLAIMS ARISING HEREUNDER SHALL BE THE AMOUNT YOU PAID TO QUICKEN FOR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES DURING THE TWELVE (12) MONTHS PRIOR TO SUCH CLAIM. THE LIMITATIONS OF DAMAGES SET FORTH ABOVE ARE FUNDAMENTAL ELEMENTS OF THE BASIS OF THE BARGAIN BETWEEN QUICKEN AND YOU. QUICKEN WOULD NOT HAVE PROVIDED THE SERVICE WITHOUT SUCH LIMITATIONS. Keep backup copies of all of your Content. "Content" means (a) any data or information that you enter or store in connection with a Product, (b) any data or information that you upload to, download from, send or receive, or enter in connection with a Service, or (c) any data or information that is obtained from these things (such as calculations, reports, and files that you create using our software). In some cases we or our Suppliers may provide data storage or processing capabilities. NEVERTHELESS, YOU AGREE THAT NEITHER WE NOR OUR SUPPLIERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY LOSS OF CONTENT THAT COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED IF YOU HAD MAINTAINED FULL BACKUP COPIES OF ALL CONTENT AT ALL TIMES. <Source: Quicken Terms of Service 3/21/18 https://www.quicken.com/terms-of-use>
So I must ask myself, Am I Next? Will my accounts be compromised and left penniless in this cold, cruel world?