Google announced Google Drive this week. On the surface, it sounds good. You get 5GB of storage for free. If you want more, you can choose to upgrade to 25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or even 1TB for $49.99/month. When you upgrade to a paid account, your Gmail account storage will also expand to 25GB. Great deal isn’t it.
But I don’t think it is a great deal.
Take a look at the terms of service. Scan it and you’ll find this:
When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content. The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones. This license continues even if you stop using our Services (for example, for a business listing you have added to Google Maps).
I’m not a lawyer, but it really sounds like anything that gets uploaded to a Google service automatically gets license to that stuff. So your private files belong to Google. Now I don’t think Google is really that dumb. Though, I will admit that their record on privacy isn’t the best. Still, the company who’s motto is “don’t be evil” wouldn’t be that evil, would they? Seeing as they already mine your data and serves up ads based on that, and they as I’ve stated earlier, don’t have the best privacy record, you have to wonder.
Google needs to clear this up and do so quickly. However they explain this, they have to do it in a way that puts this issue to bed once and for all. Until then, I will be avoiding Google Drive. I suggest that others do the same so that it sends the message that the rights of users have to be respected.