Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Some Thoughts on Google Drive and Internet “Privacy”

It seems that the new Google Drive service goes way beyond Dropbox and SkyDrive in their terms and conditions.

Your Content in our Services

Some of our Services allow you to submit content. You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in that content. In short, what belongs to you stays yours.

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). Some Services may offer you ways to access and remove content that has been provided to that Service. Also, in some of our Services, there are terms or settings that narrow the scope of our use of the content submitted in those Services. Make sure that you have the necessary rights to grant us this licence for any content you submit to our Services.

The originals are here: Google Terms of Service. Emphasis in the above is ours.

Article on the subject: CNET News: Who owns your files on Google Drive?

Dropbox and SkyDrive allow content on their services with no intent to use it to their own profit.

“Do no evil” eh Google?

We Bing for search, we Hotmail, we SkyDrive, and we Live Mesh our content sharing between systems. We avoid Google services as much as we can. Unfortunately moving off Blogger to another service would be a nightmare for the 2000+ posts on our blog so we leave that one lie.

If we are going to store information on Cloud services that requires keeping it from prying eyes we would set up a TrueCrypt container to encrypt the content prior to uploading.

We live in a day and age where SSL/TLS encryption between endpoints does not guarantee that a point in between has been compromised and is capable of decrypting and encrypting content passing through that point.

It pays to be aware of the consequences of posting everything and anything to _any_ Cloud service no matter what their Terms & Conditions are. Law Enforcement does not seem consider other folks’ content on Cloud servers when they are after something as we have seen in so many cases.

One last thing: Always assume that nothing, _nothing_ placed on any service anywhere on the Internet is secure.

So, those party pictures from last weekend? Assume they get out. The same goes for any image or video taken and shared via cell phone, tablet, or other image capture device.

Don’t want that content to get out? Then don’t post it!

There is no such thing as online privacy in the Internet Age. Period.

Hat tip: Dilip Naik of Niriva

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

1 comment:

Mark Welte said...

Thanks for the heads up. This could be very serious for a lot of small businesses that don't understand the ramifications of using Google's services.