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Spy-on-your-home Y-Cam cameras removes free cloud storage bit

Subscribe, or record nothing after a year, customers told

By Richard Priday

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Home security company Y-Cam has enraged its users after pulling its free lifetime cloud storage for its internet-connected cameras.

Customers were told they had 14 days' notice to download any footage they required before the free service was deactivated.

Y-Cam will now offer one year of free seven-day rolling cloud storage for its new IP cameras, while existing cameras will lose their ability to record unless a £2.99 a month or £9.99 a month subscription is paid. The security cameras cannot store video locally, meaning Y-Cam's own service is the only option for storage.

Users responded as one might expect, complaining on online forums and Y-Cam's social media, and tanking the UK-based biz and its products' rating on TrustPilot and Amazon. One TrustPilot punter complained that the older kit, without a subscription, effectively performs a "livestream only" service.

Some also claim they have made complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority and Trading Standards about previous marketing material promoting the lifetime storage.

In a statement the company said: "recent years of increasing service costs and the ever-increasing burdens of data security and data protection have forced us to re-evaluate," and that its current model "is not sustainable".

It defended its decision to discontinue the free seven-day storage, saying "companies are entitled to change their Terms and Conditions and do so all the time, especially in fast-moving industries like technology and data security.

"We considered all options, including offering a shorter free period, however storage is the relatively cheap bit. It is the server processing resource required to compile videos that is expensive, so a reduction to, say, 48 hours would not [have] solve[d] the issue."

Y-Cam has used Amazon Web Services (AWS) for its cloud storage infrastructure since 2011, a move which allowed it to increase its previous offer of lifetime rolling three-day storage to the recently retracted seven-day storage.

The Register has contacted Y-Cam for further comment on the costs of its compute and storage, and also the ASA and Trading Standards. ®

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