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Cloud file syncing and sharing service Dropbox is taking into consideration the negative feedback it got earlier this week after publishing a blog post on the architecture of Project Infinite, an upcoming feature that will show all files that users can access but keep them stored on Dropbox’s infrastructure, so as not to take up too much local storage space.
As reported by Motherboard, several people have taken issue with the fact that Project Infinite is slated to go beyond the user space — historically the domain of most applications — and dip into the more sensitive kernel space.
Dropbox is exploring several options, Rob Baesman, head of product for Dropbox’s pro, business, and enterprise service tiers, told VentureBeat in an interview. For example, Dropboxers have talked about sharing the Infinite code under an open source license, Baesman said. But one thing won’t change.
“We could not do what Infinite sets out to do without using the kernel,” Baesman said. “It would be technologically impossible.”
He wouldn’t comment on whether Dropbox is specifically considering a way to let users opt out of Project Infinite.
“We’re still evaluating the best way to meet our users’ needs,” he said.
Specific product issues could be hurtful to Dropbox, as it deals with competition from Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Box, and others.
Dropbox, which now has more than 500 million registered users, even tried to have the Motherboard article taken down while the company was prepping a response. Writer Joseph Cox said as much in a tweet.
Baesman defended the planned use of the kernel for the feature, saying that antivirus software commonly accesses it, as does software from his former employer, VMware.
“This is definitely on the small side,” he said. “It’s very, very focused on what it is actually doing, because it focuses on key file events for the stuff that’s in your Dropbox, and that they’re in the right spots.”
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