Google Drive

Today Google announced that Google Docs would be changing to Google Drive (for Australians, at least). Back in May, The Australian reported that

Google Drive’s online storage terms and conditions are clouded.

and business owners and individuals pressed Google to change their terms and conditions. To date, this has not been done. The Australian article continues:

But businesses and individuals are being cautioned about storing files on Google Drive. Google says users own their data stored online and retain intellectual rights, but its terms and conditions say the company retains a right to use the information.

For individuals, it’s handy to be aware of the specifics of Google’s terms and conditions, including:

By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through Google services which are intended to be available to the members of the public, you grant Google a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, adapt, modify, publish and distribute such Content on Google services for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting Google services. Google reserves the right to syndicate Content submitted, posted or displayed by you on or through Google services and use that Content in connection with any service offered by Google.

Google has made itself pretty indispensable in the lives of many people and the question now is, can we live without them or shall we just wear their terms and conditions? Will the terms and conditions really affect us? Only time will tell.

Google Drive and privacy concerns

Google Drive, the new cloud storage option needs to be thoroughly investigated before blindly signing up as there are some privacy and intellectual property concerns.

Google Drive’s terms of service allows you to still own your own files, but grants the company a license to do ‘as it wants’ with your uploaded content.

This statement comes from ZDNet, who has compared privacy policies of two other cloud storage options, Dropbox and Skydrive to Google Drive:

Dropbox — terms can be found here:

Your Stuff & Your Privacy: By using our Services you provide us with information, files, and folders that you submit to Dropbox (together, “your stuff”). You retain full ownership to your stuff. We don’t claim any ownership to any of it. These Terms do not grant us any rights to your stuff or intellectual property except for the limited rights that are needed to run the Services, as explained below.”

Microsoft’s SkyDrive — terms can be found here:

5. Your Content: Except for material that we license to you, we don’t claim ownership of the content you provide on the service. Your content remains your content. We also don’t control, verify, or endorse the content that you and others make available on the service.”

Google Drive — terms can be found here:

Your Content in our Services: When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide licence to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes that we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content.

The rights that you grant in this licence are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting and improving our Services, and to develop new ones. This licence continues even if you stop using our Services (for example, for a business listing that you have added to Google Maps).”

Read the whole article here.