Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Google Drive-ing Away Customers?

Google came out with its online storage service this week, and techies are already sounding warning bells about its terms of service.  In comparison, Dropbox and Microsoft's SkyDrive are very clear about who owns what.

From the Dropbox terms of service:  "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."

From the SkyDrive terms of service:  "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."

Although Google's Drive misleadingly starts its terms of service with the statement that "what belongs to you stays yours" . . . that's not exactly true.  It goes on to say the following:  "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 that we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content.

So much for "doing no harm" . . .  And not only does Google feel free to abuse it users, it can't resist kicking them in the ass as they walk out the door:  "This license continues even if you stop using our Services (for example, for a business listing that you have added to Google Maps)."   Think very carefully before you upload any files whatsoever to Google Drive . . .

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