Dropbox . . . How Could You ?!?

Via ProfHackerProfHacker – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education: http://ift.tt/2cXQigs


apple crates
Dropbox is a perennial favorite of ProfHacker writers, as folks have used it at one point or another for more or less all the things. That IT departments seemed not to like it was practically a point in its favor as, let’s face it, it works. Really well!

This is why it was so dispiriting to learn last week about Dropbox’s apparently cavalier approach to Mac permissions. (The article’s from July, but it resurfaced on Twitter and on sites like LoopInsight.)

In effect, using the Accessibility tools of your Mac, Dropbox appears to arrogate to itself the ability to control your computer. What’s more, if you remove this permission via System Preferences, Dropbox will re-grant itself the permissions the next time you re-start.

The good news is there’s a workaround; the bad news is that’s annoying: Uninstall Dropbox from your Mac, then re-install it, remove it from the Accessibility pane, then re-install it. When you do so, don’t give it your administrative password. Everything will still work, but you’ll have to cancel out of the “please enter your computer password” dialog box every time you restart your computer. (There are full details, with screenshots, at the link.

Dropbox has since pledged more transparency about how it seeks permissions on the Mac, and what they’re for, as well as pleaded for more granularity in system permissions from Apple . . . but it’s still a blow. Some writers always swore by SpiderOak . . . maybe it’s time to take a look? Has your confidence in Dropbox wavered? Are you contemplating an alternative? Let us know in comments!

Photo “Vintage Harvest Crate” by Flickr user James Wellington / Creative Commons licensed BY-2.0

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