Symantec wants to secure your memories

Symantec is looking to exploit technologies acquired from Veritas to provide an Internet-based service where consumers can automatically back up and remotely access important files, such as their digital photographs, the company's chief technology officer (CTO) said.

Symantec is looking to exploit technologies acquired from Veritas to provide an Internet-based service where consumers can automatically back up and remotely access important files, such as their digital photographs, the company's chief technology officer (CTO) said.

At a conference in Sydney on Monday, Symantec's chief technology officer Mark Bregman told ZDNet Australia  that the security giant was looking at how it would be able to combine the technologies gained from its merger with Veritas to provide innovative services for its consumer, small business and enterprise customers.

According to Bregman, much of the information stored on consumer PCs is unimportant or can be retrieved from other sources but the driver behind consumer back-up solutions is ensuring that, in case of disaster, users do not lose valued items such as digital photographs.

"People are suddenly realising that they have their whole family history and family photo albums on their PC and nowhere else. If they lose them they can never get them back -- they can't go and take the pictures again because the kids have already grown up," said Bregman.

Bregman agreed that there are a large number of companies already offering free online photo albums and back-up services but he said the nature of the free services means that the photos and other files is not guaranteed.

"They don't have any contractual obligations or even the technological capability to assure you that [the files] will continue to be there. So someday they may not be there and you will say, 'my god, what happened', and they will say, 'we never said we would keep them forever'," said Bregman.

The other issue, according to Bregman, is that these sites require the user to 'do something' such as manually upload the pictures to the Web site. The kind of service he said Symantec is looking at would automatically upload the pictures from a PC and guarantee their future.

"We are talking about how to create a system where by the nature of my having put [the files] on my machine, they are protected," said Bregman.