Soon after Google launched Drive, their new cloud storage solution, the search giant also renewed their privacy policy with new unified terms of service. Within this policy, a certain clause made it appear as if all content uploaded to Google Drive belonged to Google and that they could use it any way they pleased. This of course caused a huge row on the Internet with everyone pointing fingers at Google. The reality of the matter however, is that while content marked as public by you can be used by Google in promotional events or to better their services, you care the ultimate owner and not Google.  The paragraph which actually caused the hullabaloo reads something like this, “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.”

Better late than never

All this fuss over nothing

While it does sound like Google has a lot of control over your content, other cloud services also have similar rules and policies that often go unnoticed.  The Verge have done a pretty good comparison of the legal policies of the major cloud services like Dropbox, SkyDrive, iCloud and of course Google Drive. Over here, we find that SkyDrive’s policy is not so different from Google’s after all. The same goes for Apple’s iCloud. In order for cloud services to work as they should, companies need to be able to move data around as and when it’s necessary. I guess at the end of the day, it all depends on how much you’re willing to trust companies to not misuse your personal data. Even with air-tight policies and rules in place, there’s always a margin for error.

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