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Privacy Advocates Slam Google Drive's Privacy Policies

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the rain-down-upon-thee dept.

Cloud 219

DJRumpy writes "Privacy advocates voiced strong concerns this week over how data stored on Google Drive may be used during and after customers are actively engaged in using the cloud service. While the TOS for Dropbox and Microsoft both state they will use your data only as far as is necessary to provide the service you have requested, Google goes a bit farther: 'Google's terms of use say: "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 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."'

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219 comments

Google's motivation (3, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | about 2 years ago | (#39807977)

Google's motivation, in all that it does, is to index your data an sell you to advertisers. Advertisers are the customers, and you are the product. Android, Gmail, the search engine, Google Drive, Google+, and so on--they all exist solely to index people's data and serve them ads. 96% of Google's revenue comes from advertising. It is their core business.

In fact, that's not actually bad in and of itself, up to the point where it crosses into creepy territory, like in this case. Just by uploading your personal files, you are licensing them to Google to do whatever they want with them. And not just Google--note the parenthetical "(and those we work with)". So you don't even know who is going to be using your personal data. I mean, these policies actually give Google and other strangers the right to publicly display and distribute your files. One wonders if that absolves them from any consequences from security intrusions too, since a hacker getting hold of your files that would count as publicly distributing them, even if accidentally.

I've never bought into the image of benevolence Google always presents to the public, and that's cost me Slashdot karma over the years, but I don't care. It will be very interesting to see who defends this. It would be difficult not to see them as sellouts of themselves, all too happy to trash their own privacy rights, eager to please the advertising megacorp and defend them from attack. Wake up!

Re:Google's motivation (5, Insightful)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about 2 years ago | (#39808061)

They don't sell your data to customers, that would be illegal. They look at your data and use it to build a description of your personality and then they sell the fact that they know your personality to advertisers.

Doesn't explain why they need rights to distribute and create derivative works.

Re:Google's motivation (5, Insightful)

Bobakitoo (1814374) | about 2 years ago | (#39808149)

Doesn't explain why they need rights to distribute and create derivative works.

Creating a thumbnail or a document preview would constitute a derivative work. Displaying it on your browser would be distribution.

Re:Google's motivation (2, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 2 years ago | (#39808383)

That's exactly right. Not sure what the privacy advocates are complaining about. Pretty much everything listed in there is required to have a functioning and useful cloud service. As others have pointed out, the policies for MS and Dropbox are almost identical in the relevant parts - they are the equivalent of legal boilerplate. Now, there is some wiggle room here indeed for things to show up in ads, but I can guarantee you that that would result in a huge outcry - kinda like what Facebook experienced when people's profile pictures started showing up in ads. Google might do something that stupid, but in the meantime, even something as weird as "publicly display" might be necessary to run their service. For example, what if I want to set permissions in my google drive to public, or even to something my friends can access? You know, like some real cloud storage? Bam, public display.

So again, privacy advocates are barking up the wrong tree. They shouldn't be talking about Google's privacy policies, but about what it means to live in a world where everyone is potentially connected to everyone else - and this time, literally? There are some huge implications here that we're not used to dealing with.

Personally, I'm approaching this sharing business cautiously. Everything is filtered to friends I actually know in meat space. And if I don't know them, hello pseudonymous handle.

Re:Google's motivation (5, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#39808571)

..well.. for starters, they're asking for more rights than you usually as a content buyer have.

got an mp3? pretty certain even if you bought it legally that you don't have the right to publicly "perform" it(thanks artist associations and your monopolies!).

they're wording it as a worldwide license for them and their partners to publicly display your data and you're asking why the privacy orgs are barking at them?? wth?? note that they could word the whole service so that it's you who are serving the things to whoever you want by using their service instead of this way of them doing everything.

also I would think this to be a bad choice that opens them to lawsuits, since it's now _google_ doing the re-publishing of the file worldwide if you distribute an illegal mp3 through them.

Re:Google's motivation (2, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 2 years ago | (#39808791)

..well.. for starters, they're asking for more rights than you usually as a content buyer have.

Congratulations. You just discovered that corporations have different rights from you, because they have an army of lawyers that can write, argue and rewrite any contract the corporation comes in touch with. You don't.

Since you clearly didn't catch the example I provided for why they need a worldwide license to publicly display your data, let me ask you this: assume you're building a company that stores user content, and allows users to provide access to said content to anyone they wish, including anonymous access. Think maybe flickr. How would you write it? And by the way, when you do come up with an answer, run it by your corporate counsel. If they don't laugh you out of the office, post it here. I suspect it will be remarkably similar to what Google has.

Re:Google's motivation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39808873)

Hosting a video in YouTube would requires the right to publicly perform it. The copyright army has spent a LOT of money trying to educate people about what you are NOT allowed to put on YouTube because of this.

If you illegally share content, it's YOUR fault. Don't do it. Trying to blame it on the hosting service is disingenuous.

Re:Google's motivation (2)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#39808611)

They need to explain it better/more fully. As it reads, you give them those rights independent of any particular service-related need. Per the terms, they could publish your content even it that weren't your intent. If they said something like "If you use the service to share content with others, you give Google the rights necessary to provide that service. You give Google the right to copy your content for reasonable and customary purposes (such as making backups, or moving content between servers)." (IANAL, there's undoubtedly a better way to phrase it, but that's the concept)

Re:Google's motivation (0)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 2 years ago | (#39808731)

(IANAL, there's undoubtedly a better way to phrase it, but that's the concept)

And because you're not a lawyer, you haven't come across these types of agreements. Welcome to the world of contracts and legal terms of service. You specify everything under the sun, because if you don't mention it in a contract, it doesn't exist. And legalese is legalese because lawyers are assholes and will nail you for any omission, inconsistency or inaccuracy.

Re:Google's motivation (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#39808839)

And legalese is legalese because lawyers are assholes and will nail you for any omission, inconsistency or inaccuracy.

Or erroneousness, mistakenness, fallaciousness, faultiness, inexactness, mistake, fallacy, slip, slip-up, oversight, fault, blunder, gaffe; erratum, solecism; informal howler, typo, blooper, goof,exception; deletion, cut, excision, elimination, erasure; gap, blank, or absence.

You didn't even really get started.

Re:Google's motivation (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 2 years ago | (#39808739)

They need to explain it better/more fully.

Unfortunately, their explanation seems to be perfectly clear. As you say, it includes no restrictions on use nor any guarantee of any sort security whatsoever. I expect that the objecting privacy advocates are thinking much the same thing as me: it is implausible that an organisation like Google, which has an army of lawyers and just pushed through a fairly controversial change to its privacy policies elsewhere a few weeks ago, claimed these extra powers anything other than deliberately.

Re:Google's motivation (2)

elashish14 (1302231) | about 2 years ago | (#39808619)

Well it would probably help if they would be more specific about it. I haven't read the TOS myself, but if they said something like 'creating a derivative work for the purpose of displaying thumbnails,' or something more general, but not quite 'we can do whatever we want with it,' that would ease my mind a lot.

Re:Google's motivation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39808863)

Exactly. The privacy policy needs to make it explicitly clear that you maintain ownership of ALL derivative works (not just the original) and that they may only distribute those all works (including derivatives) to you, through your account. I would also like a restriction on the kind of ways they can analyze the data, but those restrictions are kind of more difficult to nail down.

Re:Google's motivation (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39808223)

Because you have the option to share your documents publicly. Creating and sharing a really popular document might warrant automatic translation by Google into other languages so that other regions, too, can read your public document. That translation is an example of Google creating and distributing a derivative work.

Re:Google's motivation (4, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#39808815)

if that's true, then let them ennumerate *exactly* the things they are going to do to your data. wildcard words are good for google but probably pretty bad for the users.

given how creepy this all is becoming, they should start off saying they won't use your data in any way other than X and Y and so on. spell it out and only the things ON the list are allowed. all else, by default would not be. you'd have to state this default disposition first, too.

I won't ever see that from google and so I refuse to use their services as much as I possibly can. (I can't fully not use their services since, when I try to block google domains, many of my other websites that have nothing to do with google stop working. order parts from mouser or digikey and disable google in adblock or noscript? you can't! the vendor goes out to googleapis for this and that. I can't stop that, sadly.)

if you understand what google is about and continue to feed it your data, hey, its your life and if you want to throw your privacy away for cheap isp or network use, that's your decision. I choose to avoid google as much as possible. I see what they are and I choose not to participate with such companies.

Re:Google's motivation (4, Informative)

chrb (1083577) | about 2 years ago | (#39808285)

Doesn't explain why they need rights to distribute and create derivative works.

Content sharing is distribution. Content preview is a derivative work. Skydrive and Dropbox both require exactly the same rights.

Re:Google's motivation (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 2 years ago | (#39808463)

Your right it doesn't, the only reason for that is so they can sell their derivitve of your data to their customers.

Re:Google's motivation (1)

Caratted (806506) | about 2 years ago | (#39808563)

Well it has been mentioned a fair number of times, but Dropbox and alternatives require you to agree to essentially identical TOS.

The thumbnail preview of your publicly hosted image is a derivitive. They're not selling your files to customers, the outcry would be massive from these same advocates. Since there is nothing new to cry about, they're rehashing old arguments that have been thoroughly explained and justified, with regards to a hosted cloud service.

Re:Google's motivation (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39808129)

Who ever is modding you troll needs to get their heads checked. modded you +1 insightful

Re:Google's motivation (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39808137)

Not sure why this was modded down as a troll. But then i have noticed that people are oddly afraid to be given the truth.

Re:Google's motivation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39808389)

People on Slashdot can't mod for shit. They mod post down even though someone has a valid point that they dont agree with. You should rarely mod a post down people.

Re:Google's motivation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39808219)

Maybe it's your tagline that's costing you karma.

But, Who in the World... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39808281)

...would agree to those terms, which give Google the right to use private data in any way they see fit, to earn a buck?

Oh, right, Facebook users.

Re:Google's motivation (4, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 2 years ago | (#39808297)

To be honest, I think anyone that thinks "The Cloud" is secure in any way, shape, or form is an idiot.

Doesn't much matter who's fucking 'cloud' it is, it's just common sense. If you put data on the internet, you're taking a risk in that data being seen by someone else. This is not a new concept.

That's why the privacy hysteria concerning these cloud storage providers cracks me up. Of course there's a risk in doing so. There's a risk in connecting a computer to the internet at all. If that risk isn't a factor in the decision making process of the end user, that's their own fault.

If you want to lock your data in a vault, go rent a fucking vault...but let's not pretend that a person should have any reasonable expectation of a risk-free cloud storage solution. Not gonna happen, not in our lifetimes. We still can't seem to not use passwords like '123456' or 'abcdefg' [computerworld.com] for fuck's sake. You think there isn't some moron at Google or Dropbox or Skydrive or whoever the fuck that's not doing the exact same shit? Come on, now, people.

Re:Google's motivation (1)

flappinbooger (574405) | about 2 years ago | (#39808529)

Not sure I'm going to use gdrive yet. or at all, not sure about those terms and conditions.

After all, I have 10+ GB free on dropbox, 6+ gb free on sugarsync, 50 gb free on box.net (when they had a special promo a few months back) and 25 gb free on skydrive (not really using). I think it's neat-o that gdrive exists we've been waiting for it for years.

Seems like it's a little late in the game for one thing and, as has been said, a little "creepy" T+C.

Re:Google's motivation (2)

archont (1215492) | about 2 years ago | (#39808721)

Joke's on them. I'm a deadbeat. What kind of product or service would you want to market to someone who doesn't have the money to buy anything?

Re:Google's motivation (1)

triceice (1046486) | about 2 years ago | (#39808743)

Google does this because the average user does not care. I think this is problem and lots of technology smart people also view it as a problem. But Google is not implementing those privacy polices without an understanding of the needs of business and consumers. Their privacy polices are not that much different than the other file storage and sharing sites. (http://venturebeat.com/2012/04/26/google-drive-privacy/)

So the fervor is mostly about the fact that it is Google. And Google has a lot of access to our information via their very inclusive systems.

What we need to be more concerned about is an overall set of standards that reflect a way for people to get the best experience without providing too much personal information that will be used outside our control.

Article fail (5, Informative)

Troed (102527) | about 2 years ago | (#39808035)

"a close and careful reading reveals that Google's terms are pretty much the same as anyone else's, and slightly better in some cases"

http://www.theverge.com/2012/4/25/2973849/google-drive-terms-privacy-data-skydrive-dropbox-icloud [theverge.com]

Fluff piece (4, Interesting)

bonch (38532) | about 2 years ago | (#39808187)

What a fluff piece from the Verge. It doesn't compare the exact wording of the policies. Instead, it justifies Google's policy by saying abuse is "unlikely" (which isn't the point) and explains that rival services need certain delivery permissions to run the service, but it doesn't cite any examples from the policies of those rivals that are equivalent to the content license that Google Drive grants.

The article also claims that "public" refers to the user and their actions regarding their own data. But that is NOT what Google Drive's policy states--it explicitly states that the content is licensed to Google as well as anyone Google works with.

Re:Fluff piece (3, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | about 2 years ago | (#39808609)

And anyone claiming that it is unlikely is a fool. Had Yahoo had such a term of service fifteen years ago, everyone would have called it unlikely to be abused at the time. And now, fifteen years later, the company is in such bad financial shape that I wouldn't put such a desperate move past them if it could keep them afloat. There's no reason that Google couldn't eventually end up in dire straits financially someday, and when they do, they'll have your data and the right to exploit it.

Re:Fluff piece (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39808753)

So what you're saying is:

- anyone who thinks they won't do what they damn well like when they are in difficulty is a fool
- after all, look at Yahoo. They are in financial difficulty and they, er... they, er... haven't done anything abusive

Idiot.

Indeed. (4, Informative)

chrb (1083577) | about 2 years ago | (#39808225)

Dropbox:

We may need your permission to do things you ask us to do with your stuff, for example, hosting your files, or sharing them at your direction. This includes product features visible to you, for example, image thumbnails or document previews. It also includes design choices we make to technically administer our Services, for example, how we redundantly backup data to keep it safe. You give us the permissions we need to do those things solely to provide the Services. This permission also extends to trusted third parties we work with to provide the Services, for example Amazon, which provides our storage space (again, only to provide the Services).

Skydrive:

If you share content in public areas of the service or in shared areas available to others you've chosen, then you agree that anyone you've shared content with may use that content. When you give others access to your content on the service, you grant them free, nonexclusive permission to use, reproduce, distribute, display, transmit, and communicate to the public the content solely in connection with the service and other products and services made available by Microsoft. If you don't want others to have those rights, don't use the service to share your content. You understand that Microsoft may need, and you hereby grant Microsoft the right, to use, modify, adapt, reproduce, distribute, and display content posted on the service solely to the extent necessary to provide the service.

Google Drive

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 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. The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones.

I have bolded the relevant bit that the biased summary failed to include. It is exactly the same as the Microsoft term above.

Re:Indeed. (0)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | about 2 years ago | (#39808287)

This is why I don't use any cloud services for file storage. Though one could reasonably argue that giving Google, the biggest internet company in the world, a license to your content has larger ramifications than giving one to Dropbox or even Microsoft.

Re:Indeed. (3, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 2 years ago | (#39808623)

I use them to store files I don't give a shit about. If they want to scrape my cannabutter recipes and pirated MP3's looking for something to 'monetize', they can be my guest.

The only data they can steal is the data you give them. People aren't powerless victims, here, they're making a deliberate choice to put their files in someone else's control. I don't much give a shit who that someone else is, if you don't want them to see it, don't give it to them to hold.

This is just simple common sense, but it seems like people would rather keep stamping their feet and bitching about how insecure it all is rather than just making the simple decision to not fucking upload sensitive shit to these services in the first place and moving on with their lives. Anyone looking for an impenetrable bank vault for their data via an internet connection is an idiot. The weak point in any security system is the user, and as we all know, users come up with novel ways to compromise their shit every single day. According to a recent study, the most common password in business is Password1 [webpronews.com]. If that doesn't make you think twice about trusting any of these services with your data I don't know what will...

Re:Indeed. (2)

Tanktalus (794810) | about 2 years ago | (#39808875)

/me considers getting a skydrive account to help distribute linux ISO's, and wonders what kind of advertising he'd be subjected to for that.

Re:Indeed. (5, Insightful)

drachenfyre (550754) | about 2 years ago | (#39808329)

Dropbox:

I have bolded the relevant bit that the biased summary failed to include. It is exactly the same as the Microsoft term above.

No, not it is not. There is a huge difference between Microsoft's (The Service) and Google (Our Services). If Google decided to come out with a new service where they allowed you to search anyones documents on their site, you've already agreed to it. With Microsoft, you have not. Is it a glaring omission in the biased summary? Yes. But does it mean that your stuff will only be used for operating,promoting and improving Google Drive? No. No it does not. When Google collects it and starts distributing your family photos as part of GIS, you've already agreed to it.

Re:Indeed. (1)

phorm (591458) | about 2 years ago | (#39808659)

What it also does is allow them to do such things between their services for you. When services are integrated that's useful to the customer.

However, it also seems a bit "blanket" and allows them to do a whole lot more, much of which may be against what the customer (in this case, I'll refer to the person using the service as "customer") wants.

Perhaps they need an addendum like:
    For the purposes of presenting you or those your have specifically authorized to use and view the content through our services.

Of course, the actual addendum would be more legalese... but it should be restricted to basically "we're allowed to do X in order to provide YOU and those YOU CHOOSE services"

Re:Indeed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39808729)

Well, Google is pretty clear. [google.com] about what they can and will do with your data. Reading Google's Privacy policy [google.com] explains very clearly what you should know or be concerned about.

A lot of people seem to enjoy jumping on the bandwagon saying "see! Google IS doing evil!" But if you actually look at what they are doing, it's much easier to make informed decisions about whether or not to use their services.

Microsoft's terms allow them to change or extend their service however they need to. (Microsoft does, and will, and this is beneficial for their users.) This is not different from if Google were to "come out with a new service".

Ultimately, Google (and Microsoft, Amazon, Dropbox, etc.) all are subject to the laws where they operate, and CAN'T legally do the kind of bad stuff you're suggesting they could. Again, there are things to be concerned about (or at least aware of), such as the privacy policy and what the actual Google service does.

Re:Indeed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39808377)

If you think the two terms from MS and Google are identical then I have a bridge to sell you. You could drive a bus through the hole left in the Google license.

Re:Indeed. (4, Informative)

chrb (1083577) | about 2 years ago | (#39808391)

And for completeness, Apple's terms:

Except for material we may license to you, Apple does not claim ownership of the materials and/or Content you submit or make available on the Service. However, by submitting or posting such Content on areas of the Service that are accessible by the public or other users with whom you consent to share such Content, you grant Apple a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, publicly perform and publicly display such Content on the Service solely for the purpose for which such Content was submitted or made available, without any compensation or obligation to you.

Re:Indeed. (1)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#39808443)

You forgot this portion:

Information you share [google.com]

Many of our services let you share information with others. Remember that when you share information publicly, it may be indexable by search engines, including Google. Our services provide you with different options on sharing and removing your content.

IF you mark a document as public, Google will let anyone else see it. (e.g. Publicly display).
But if you mark it private, nobody else sees it, without a warrant.

The other permissions you grant them exist solely to let them provide the service to any machine from which you log in.

Re:Indeed. (2)

a90Tj2P7 (1533853) | about 2 years ago | (#39808679)

Did you miss "publicly perform", "publicly display" and "publish", in addition to "for the limited purpose of... promoting... our Services..."?

Re:Article fail (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39808321)

The key element in Microsoft's ToS is this.

"You understand that Microsoft may need, and you hereby grant Microsoft the right, to use, modify, adapt, reproduce, distribute, and display content posted on the service SOLELY TO THE EXTENT NECESSARY TO USE THE SERVICE."

Google's ToS - or at least the section quoted there, I haven't memorized the whole thing - doesn't include the same sort of limitation to limiting one service's rights to one service's information. In fact, I remember info-sharing being a big thing they started doing recently!

So as written, could they take my videos from Drive - one of their services - and move it onto YouTube - another service? There's no threat like this from DropBox, Microsoft says "We won't do it", Apple follows MS's example with a limitation "solely for the purpose for which such Content was submitted or made available" - so I'd want to see an equal protection from Google on cross-service usage of my Drive data before I even think about it.

of course, if it's already there, this article is fail.

Where's the problem? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39808037)

They need to be allowed to do all those things to provide all the features they do.

Re:Where's the problem? (0)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | about 2 years ago | (#39808311)

Is a content license really required to store files? I think you mean that they need to be allowed to do all those things to provide context-sensitive advertising.

I'm Shocked! Shocked!!! (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#39808047)

OK, well, not all that shocked.

Whoever doesn't realize by now that Google is a marketing agency who makes their money off selling their users' data, deserves to get screwed.

Re:I'm Shocked! Shocked!!! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39808119)

Whoever doesn't realize... deserves to get screwed.

Speak for yourself. Not *everyone* has the background, the experience or the jaded attitude you possess, and it's attitudes like yours (and the entire caveat emptor set) that leave the upcoming (younger) individuals hanging out to dry.

Re:I'm Shocked! Shocked!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39808165)

I have 2 words for you "QQ NUB"

Re:I'm Shocked! Shocked!!! (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 2 years ago | (#39808465)

and it's attitudes like yours (and the entire caveat emptor set) that leave the upcoming (younger) individuals hanging out to dry.

Thus we have slashdot, and other outlets where people are free to express their opinions. no matter how jaded.

Re:I'm Shocked! Shocked!!! (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#39808291)

I'm no longer allowed to criticize Microsoft or Google, else I will get modded -1 by their loyal fanboys. (Otherwise I'd agree with you... can't trust either of these companies with your uploaded data... especially after CISPA passes.)

Re:I'm Shocked! Shocked!!! (5, Insightful)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | about 2 years ago | (#39808293)

OK, well, not all that shocked.

Whoever doesn't realize by now that Google is a marketing agency who makes their money off selling their users' data, deserves to get screwed.

Google makes zero money off selling their users' data. Selling their users data would, in fact, hurt Google's business strategy.

Google makes money off having access to users' data nobody else does. They can tell an advertiser, "we know the people for whom your ad will be most relevant, and no other advertising company has that information." If they were to actually give a list of said users to their client, they'd no longer be able to charge for advertising to those users, because their clients would do it directly.

Re:I'm Shocked! Shocked!!! (1)

msailors (2221966) | about 2 years ago | (#39808491)

Mod parent up. There continues to be a broad misconception that Google is just passing out your information to any company with a few bucks to spend, which is patently false.

Re:I'm Shocked! Shocked!!! (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 2 years ago | (#39808345)

OK, well, not all that shocked.

Whoever doesn't realize by now that Google is a marketing agency who makes their money off selling their users' data, deserves to get screwed.

Liberating yourself doesn't do you a lot of good if the folks you liberated yourself from have an army of billions and an agenda.

Re:I'm Shocked! Shocked!!! (2)

Local ID10T (790134) | about 2 years ago | (#39808353)

Google is a marketing agency who makes their money off selling their users' data

Almost...

Google is an advertising company that makes money selling data about their users.

A subtle, but important, distinction.

Re:I'm Shocked! Shocked!!! (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#39808453)

Google is a marketing agency who makes their money off selling their users' data

Almost...

Google is an advertising company that makes money selling data about their users.

A subtle, but important, distinction.

Indeed, thanks for the clarification.

Creative control (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39808051)

"That short film you're editing? We know you weren't technically done with it, but we honestly thought it was fantastic. Don't change another thing. We went ahead and put it on YouTube for you."

Surprise (0)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#39808067)

Not a surprise considering Google's history. I don't see it much different than what they do with what you do with any other Google services. When I still used Gmail, I found it humorous that it would display ads for Viagra whenever the odd male enhancement spam slipped through.

Re:Surprise (1)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#39808253)

So a computer program slips a topical advertisement onto your screen. Big deal.

Did you find any example of other people reading your gmail, or your gmail contents showing up in searches?
No? Thought not. So what PRECISELY did you mean with that "considering Google's history" remark?

Have they ever broadcast your email, or your pictures that you marked as private, or your google docs that you marked private?
Or is this just another example of a full-out google hate without letting the facts get in your way?

I would be amazed... (1)

gaelfx (1111115) | about 2 years ago | (#39808147)

...if anyone anywhere actually thought that anything I have would help them advertise and/or sell something.

Publishing HALF the facts = more fun. (5, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#39808151)

Conveniently left out of the summary and TFA is that this only applies to DATA YOU EXPLICITLY MAKE PUBLIC in your Google Drive.
Which is the same policy as Google Docs had, same as Picasa had, etc.
If you mark a document public then it can be searched for and found. (But in my tests, its rarely searchable - probably my stuff is too boring even for Google's spiders).

Foremost in Google's policy it states [google.com]:

Information we share
We do not share personal information with companies, organizations and individuals outside of Google unless one of the following circumstances apply:
With your consent
We will share personal information with companies, organizations or individuals outside of Google when we have your consent to do so. We require opt-in consent for the sharing of any sensitive personal information.

So if you mark it private, it means its almost as private as it can be while still being in the cloud. Of course Google has to honor subpoenas, but your next great novel will not appear in someone's search results if mark it private.

If you want better privacy for your commercial cloud storage your best bet is SpiderOak [spideroak.com] which stores everything encrypted with an encryption key that even SpiderOak doesn't know. They use client-side decryption, and therefore couldn't hand over your stuff even at gunpoint.

Google: All for one and none for all... (1)

madhatter256 (443326) | about 2 years ago | (#39808163)

What's yours is mine and what's mine is not yours....

Re:Google: All for one and none for all... (1)

ScentCone (795499) | about 2 years ago | (#39808885)

Except for the fact that they don't charge you anything, you don't have to use it, and the only stuff that's at issue here is stuff that you explicitly put on their systems to share publicly with other people, not your private stuff.

So, I see your point, other than the whole "it has no bearing on reality" part.

What is this then ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39808177)

I thought goggle is my searching engine on my computer? Does microsoft put that there? It was there when I bought this.

so much for do no evil (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39808181)

one billion dollars!

muhahahahahaHA

TrueCrypt? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39808183)

Is it possible to layer TrueCrypt on it, either with current software or with easy mods from the TC community?

Re:TrueCrypt? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#39808221)

I imagine you'd want something less block-devicey. It'd be horribly inefficient otherwise.

Re:TrueCrypt? (2)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 2 years ago | (#39808335)

A keyboard-smash 128 character password on an AES-encrypted zip file would be enough I'd think.

Though this also sounds like a good opportunity for someone to write a Dokan [dokan-dev.net] filesystem for it (maybe something which just does the above?). I already use OTR encryption with Gtalk - it's kind of funny going through my Gmail account and seeing all the encrypted conversations. Sad that pretty much no one can be convinced to use GPG for regular email though.

so? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39808191)

This is a non story.

Common Sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39808213)

If you don't want somebody to read it, you need to encrypt it.

If Google wants to make derivative works from my encrypted data that can't be distinguished from noise ... be my guest.
They don't need me for that, as /dev/urandom is much more convenient, but maybe they've got an "noise that could mean something to somebody" fetish.

No problem... (1)

kbob88 (951258) | about 2 years ago | (#39808229)

They can take my encrypted files and index, reproduce, modify, publish, etc them to their heart's content! I really look forward to seeing derivative works created from my gpg-encrypted files! Similarly, I can't wait to browse to web pages publicly displaying the contents of someone else's 700MB encrypted file; reading that will be a great cure for insomnia!

But more seriously, I can see Google wanting to have some capabilities for their ad/marketing businesses, but some of these (create derivative works, modify, publish, publicly display?) are really unnecessary. Looks like the product manager forgot to review the ToS after the lawyers were done with it. Oops.

What the hell, Google? (1)

bistromath007 (1253428) | about 2 years ago | (#39808233)

I don't feel like they're going to do anything bad, but how did nobody working there notice that the first and last sentences of that statement are mutually exclusive? They claim you keep your IP rights, then specifically enumerate every IP right there is as belonging to them! Are machines generating their boilerplate now, too?

Re:What the hell, Google? (2)

whereverjustice (955731) | about 2 years ago | (#39808615)

There's a difference between signing over your IP rights and giving someone a license. If I write a book and then bring it to the print shop to have it printed, I'm giving them a license, not handing over the copyright. The difference is that I'm free to (1) make further copies myself, and (2) grant licenses to others without limit.

Re:What the hell, Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39808767)

Read the sentences again. You still own the IP and can do with it as you see fit, but you are granting Google a license to use that IP for the enumerated purposes. As the owner, you can still sell or license the IP in any way with any or no restrictions to any other entity. Google's limited license to the IP doesn't give them the ability to do the same.

In short, what belongs to you stays yours.

I swear... (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | about 2 years ago | (#39808241)

It doesn't seem that hard to start up something like this, I'm half tempted to buy a few servers and start my own small scale hosting site.
The only thing in the privacy policy will just be "This shit is yours. I'm not going to use it in any way"

Re:I swear... (1)

flappinbooger (574405) | about 2 years ago | (#39808705)

It doesn't seem that hard to start up something like this, I'm half tempted to buy a few servers and start my own small scale hosting site. The only thing in the privacy policy will just be "This shit is yours. I'm not going to use it in any way"

Here's google's revenue plan: https://www.google.com/settings/storage/?hl=en [google.com]

Can you do better? No really, I'm wondering what it would really cost to DIY.

There are nearly turnkey plans out there where you can resell Amazon S3 storage as a dropbox or carbonite type service. You basically have to do zero except sign up and then market/administer it, no hardware admin necessary.

If someone has a knack for marketing and graphical design and a sliver of tech knowledge, not a bad idea. Of course, at this point you would have to be VERY good to take away marketshare.

The more reasonable avenue I saw was marketing it to your own customers as a value-add to IT or graphical services, etc.

'Marked' private (1)

rickb928 (945187) | about 2 years ago | (#39808251)

Suppose it would be considered private if I set it as such, paid attention, and set up my stuff that way?

Oh, and encrypted it reasonably well?

Encryption is the best 'marked private' method I can readily think of.

I sell "free home automation services!" (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#39808273)

So here's my business idea:

I want to develop a home automation and integration service. There will be a wide variety of devices designed and built to make people's lives easier. It will vacuum your floors, track/inventory your pantry, refrigerator and freezer, order out of stock foods and supplies based on your rate of consumption and the discards in your waste collection units, organize your closets, manage your TV viewing, secure your home from invaders with our monitoring services. And it's ALL FREE!

All you have to do is allow us to use the information we collect in ways we don't care to detail or disclose.

How does that sound?

Re:I sell "free home automation services!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39808813)

So here's my business idea:

I want to develop a home automation and integration service. There will be a wide variety of devices designed and built to make people's lives easier. It will vacuum your floors, track/inventory your pantry, refrigerator and freezer, order out of stock foods and supplies based on your rate of consumption and the discards in your waste collection units, organize your closets, manage your TV viewing, secure your home from invaders with our monitoring services. And it's ALL FREE!

All you have to do is allow us to use the information we collect in ways we don't care to detail or disclose.

How does that sound?

throw in some happy endings now and then and you might have a deal.

Slashdot, please quote the whole paragraph (5, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#39808299)

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). 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 you have the necessary rights to grant us this license for any content that you submit to our Services.

It is incredibly intellectually dishonest to quote only part of a paragraph, without noting the limitation that immediately follows. You can still have problems with the terms (the note on "promoting [and] developing new [services]", especially) Materially, Google's terms seem to be in the same vein as Dropbox's: they need to be able to actually, you know, host your data to be able to actually host your data. But if you want to actually discuss their policies, don't quote them partially out of context. That doesn't help.

I particularly love how people in that article subtly imply that Google is going to sell your data, without actually coming out and saying it (“You have to ask yourself, what’s the business model. If the business model is to make money from a service or money from advertising, that’s one thing. If it’s trying to make money off the sale of data, that’s another thing.” Implying evil behavior is much easier than coming out with an actual accusation: the former requires zero proof.) Google's terms make it pretty clear they can't do that ("You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in that content"), and even if they change the terms later, they can still be sued for selling the data since it was uploaded under the existing terms. IANAL, of course, but Google is in enough hot water already that it would be practically suicidal (and extremely stupid) to do that.

Oh, and BTW the relevant quote is from their "Terms of Service". Their privacy policies are an entirely different page, so the headline is incorrect: this isn't about their privacy policies, it's about their terms of service. The privacy policies themselves aren't actually discussed in TFA, although they are referenced.

Re:Slashdot, please quote the whole paragraph (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 2 years ago | (#39808545)

bonch most likely posted the article, and is back to his Anti-google crusade. This seems to be par for the course for him. I expect more Anti-Google stories in the near future, along with brand new accounts posting immediately after the story goes live.

"promote" their service is a unique term (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39808725)

Of the cloud storage providers, only Google's tos include the right to use your data to "promote" their service. All of the others ask only for the rights necessary to provide service *to* you.

Re:Slashdot, please quote the whole paragraph (2)

dgatwood (11270) | about 2 years ago | (#39808887)

In context, I'm even more uncomfortable with the wording. Why should I give them any rights to use my content while developing new services? What kind of new services? Does that mean, for example, that without me taking any explicit steps to share them, my private files containing proprietary information could end up on some new Google+ private image search service for my friends to search?

No, proper terms of service and privacy policies should state exactly how you intend to use a customer's data, which does not include the right to expand that usage in whatever way you see fit except at the user's direction. A proper policy makes it explicitly clear that the user's private data will not be shared with anyone unless the user explicitly authorizes that sharing. A proper policy does not grant the company any rights except as required in order to perform the actions that the user initiated. This is not a well-written policy.

Oh well... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39808301)

Those evil Googlers are at it again.

Duh! (1)

kurt555gs (309278) | about 2 years ago | (#39808303)

Put your Pr0n on Google drive. Let them share that. Seriously, would you put anything that really is secret or sensitive in the cloud? Common sense should be enough.

Not lawful (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39808315)

ToS is not a binding contract. Any service based upon copyrighted material is a derivative work and such rights cannot be transferred without a binding contract. Clicking 'I agree" is not the same as attaching a 'digital signature'.

Google's terms are worthless.

More explicit descriptions than others (4, Insightful)

sillivalley (411349) | about 2 years ago | (#39808349)

My take on it -- Google is being more explicit about what they are going to do with data that you mark public.

Example: you post a document. A friend in Germany wants to look at it, and asks Google to display the document (which you wrote in English) in her native German. This requires Google to make at least one intermediate copy, leading to a German translation, which would be considered a derivative work, which is then displayed.

Sounds like they've done an admirable job of covering the bases, to me, rather than the shorthand that others use.

Oh, it goes without saying that when you use/visit a website, if you can't find the product being sold, then you are the product being sold.

Damn (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39808399)

that just made it unusable to me... i want to store creative works, not host commercial media.

Really, something free has terms (1)

future assassin (639396) | about 2 years ago | (#39808405)

attached to it? What is this world coming too. WE need 100% privacy when companies give us free products to play with, how dare they want something for nothing. What's even more amazing is how people are readily uploading their personal stuff to some server for storage. Nothing could go wrong with their data....

Re:Really, something free has terms (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#39808633)

it's hardly free when it's a selling point service aimed at competing identical services from other companies providing a competing product(a mobile os)... it's a product they must have to match the other products on bulletin points.

Two Quotes From the Policy (0)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | about 2 years ago | (#39808431)

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 license to [...] modify, [...] such content.

FAIL

Incredible if True (1)

skywire (469351) | about 2 years ago | (#39808519)

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."'

If Google are actually saying this about your virtual hard drive content, it beggars belief. 'Evil' would not be a strong enough description. 'Insane' might come close. No-one in their right mind would agree to it.

Sounds like Julian Assange... (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | about 2 years ago | (#39808575)

...should store "interesting stuff" he wants everybody in the world to know about on Google Drive rather than run the risk that a media source he offers it to will just "turn" him to a corporation or "the authorities".

Google evil. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39808683)

Hulk sad.

Of COURSE they require that license (1)

brunes69 (86786) | about 2 years ago | (#39808833)

If Google does not require that license to your content, then how in gods name will they do simple things like display thumbnail previews of documents, which by NECESSITY is a derrivitive work?

If anything, the fact that Microsoft and Dropbox *does not* have this in their agreement basically means they are violating their agreement constantly, just no one is calling them on it.

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