Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Announcing Google Drive - Now with even MORE Evil!

The last few weeks have been filled with speculation about a possible new cloud storage offering from Google called Google Drive. Earlier this week, the rumors were settled as the company introduced Google Drive, a competitor to services like Dropbox and Microsoft Skydrive and offering 5GB of file storage.

The catch: Google can do anything it wants with your files.

According to this article on Techcrunch and personally confirmed after reading the Terms of Service for Google Drive, uploading files to the service gives Google the right to use the file in anyway it wants, though the ToS does not transfer ownership of the file to Google as some on the net speculated earlier.  Even without a transfer of ownership, this clause is still pretty horrendous and, I think, shows Google's absolute desire not just to contribute to the Internet and make money off of it, but to control it completely.

What scares me even more is how easily intelligent people have fallen for a catchy tagline. Google loves to trot out the 'don't be evil' line but, in reality, their various services are evil and show a fundamental lack of respect for the user. The fact that any service would tell you that you had to agree to allow them to do anything they want with your data or else you can't use the service is insane and should be rejected out of hand. Using someone's service, even though it's only provided free because they're using you to sell advertising, should never mean you sign away your basic rights to privacy and security.

Google is not the good netizen that we've been led to believe it is.  I believe that, under Google's altruistic facade, lies the heart of a monster. There are too many questions about Google and not enough answers and we shouldn't be comfortable with that. We should demand that Google respect our privacy and treat us with dignity and respect.

The only thing that Google Drive is doing with their current ToS is driving me away from Google as fast as I can move.


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