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Google GDrive Wants Your Data
engine




msg:3515191
 12:42 pm on Nov 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google Inc. wants to offer consumers a new way to store their files on its hard drives, in a strategy that could accelerate a shift to Web-based computing and intensify the Internet company's competition with Microsoft Corp.

Google is preparing a service that would let users store on its computers essentially all of the files they might keep on their personal-computer hard drives -- such as word-processing documents, digital music, video clips and images, say people familiar with the matter. The service could let users access their files via the Internet from different computers and mobile devices when they sign on with a password, and share them online with friends. It could be released as early as a few months from now, one of the people said.


Google GDrive Wants Your Data [online.wsj.com]

 

Philosopher




msg:3515326
 4:09 pm on Nov 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Trust my data to G? Are you kidding me?

We give them our personal data, documents, etc. and just trust they aren't going to somehow index it and use it to build profiles?

I like online storage services, but with G that is just too much personal data all in one place. Somehow I just don't trust my personal data in the hands of an advertising company.

walkman




msg:3515342
 4:25 pm on Nov 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Will HR Block ads be displayed next to your tax return? ;)

NO THANKS.

carguy84




msg:3515347
 4:33 pm on Nov 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Will HR Block ads be displayed next to your tax return?

HAAAHAHAAAAHAA

Philosopher




msg:3515350
 4:40 pm on Nov 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Will HR Block ads be displayed next to your tax return?

More likely, you'll start seeing those HR Block Ads when doing searches once you've uploaded some files with preliminary numbers.

or...

You allow G to hold your financial files (quicken, ms money, etc), they "notice" your debts are somewhat high and you begin getting lot's of ads for home equity loans.;)

I'll pass

walkman




msg:3515382
 5:10 pm on Nov 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

one more thing: not a lawyer but I think that how the 4th ammendement applies to online storage is still up in the air...

jtara




msg:3515384
 5:17 pm on Nov 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Consumers are finally pushing back at intrusive, too-nosey advertising schemes.

Unfortunately, I doubt that this will rise to the same level of outrage as over the Facebook scheme. It took seeing details of their purchasing habits turn up on "friends" pages to get them to wake up.

I've seen no such protest over Gmail, which is equally as intrusive as the speculation over what Google might do with GDrive. Despite it's intrusiveness, it's extremely popular.

Apparently, snooping through ones drawers and closets in order to better-target advertising doesn't bother most people. Start publishing the pictures, then they yelp.

I think we need legislation to ban this, period. The potential loss of privacy in case of error or malfeasance is too great. No company should be permitted to access private, personal data that has been entrusted to them for storage or transport for any purpose other than actually providing the storage or transmission service, whether by human or machine, in detail or in aggregate, etc.

I thought this was already banned under the ECPA.

Is Google somehow above the law?

I guess they are, as long as they continue to cooperate with intelligence agencies.

ddogg




msg:3515394
 5:34 pm on Nov 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't know about you guys but I'll take targeted ads over flashing monkey banners any day of the week.

For those who want extreme levels of privacy, are you willing to then pay for all of the sites you have been using for free all this time? Because I assure you flashing monkey ads aren't gonna pay the bills.

ronin




msg:3515396
 5:36 pm on Nov 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think the notion of "not keeping ones eggs in the same basket" will begin to kick in with consumer web-services. (Not because there is much danger of the data being lost, but because there is a danger that the data will be combined without authorisation and used against the best interests of a consumer to influence their purchasing decisions, affect their credit rating, add to their insurance premiums etc.)

Rather than keep all their data in one place, savvy internet users will increasingly be conscious of the need to use one service provider for data storage, one for personalised search, one for blog stats, one as their primary social network provider, another as their newsfeed provider, yet another as their webmail provider etc.

I already work with adsense and use orkut regularly, so I am just as happy that I don't use gmail or Google Analytics but alternative services instead.

engine




msg:3515426
 6:10 pm on Nov 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Keeping your cash in a bank is fine, because the only privacy issue is how much (or how little) you have.

Keeping my private letters, documents, tax documents, etc., will remain in private.

I agree, consumers will soon pick up on the privacy issues.

Putting less important, less sensitive information up to a data store is a good idea, for access purposes, but, I really have to ask, why when HDs are so cheap? There are many other forms of data storage, too, and these could easily, and cheaply remain in my control, on my HD, or DVD, etc.

Are we just storing information because virtual space is so low cost?

When was the last time I looked at some of the documents in the deep recesses of my hard drives? Not recently. I only look when i'm running out of space, and that's not going to be for some time.

AffiliateDreamer




msg:3515464
 6:56 pm on Nov 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

how does google desktop search fit into the equation, as they have the option of hosting your index on their servers already!

Is it possible to index our thoughts? If it is, you never know what kind of a product G will come out with...

jtara




msg:3515472
 7:00 pm on Nov 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Putting less important, less sensitive information up to a data store is a good idea, for access purposes, but, I really have to ask, why when HDs are so cheap?

The only good reason I see is mobility. Some see as some kind of of utopia the notion of some day sitting down at any computer anywhere and having all of "your stuff" available.

There have of course been rumors swirling (and then dying-down) about a Google "operating system" that would allow just that. And it's supposed to be a key feature of Windows 7.

As an aside, frankly, I don't understand what normal people are doing with 500GB hard drives. My notebook has a 60GB drive with two OSs (Windows XP and Fedora 8) installed on it, and both have plenty of breathing room. My Windows system has a 68GB drive with 24GB unallocated. (Yea, I realize Vista is a hog, but I don't intend to install it.) And my Fedora 6 system has a 40GB drive, and can't imagine why I would need more.

I think that the average person simply never deletes anything. Put that together with storing your "stuff" with a service provider, and it is a disaster waiting to happen.

SEOPTI




msg:3515504
 7:16 pm on Nov 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yes, store your thoughts and your soul on Googles hard drive. This will help your privacy.

Miamacs




msg:3515582
 7:48 pm on Nov 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

The only good reason I see is mobility.

...mmm yeah, I like mobility.

I have two laptops, two cell phones, a 20G MP3 player... and... a pendrive! I'll be buying a second one 'cause it has a neat design. I have two external HDs ( USB ). Planning on buying a third.

I like mobility allright.

...

And as you guys - who commented so far - I also have some common sense, and what's even more important, a sense of awareness, a sense of danger when it's around the corner.

This GDrive thing is...

Unthinkably, insanely, utterly...
ALIEN to me.

About the only thing I find fascinating ( okay: *scary* ) about this is the idea that it might NOT be so for some people.

...

europeforvisitors




msg:3515624
 8:54 pm on Nov 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

The only good reason I see is mobility. Some see as some kind of of utopia the notion of some day sitting down at any computer anywhere and having all of "your stuff" available.

I think backup and reliability are other good reasons. Hard drives die, a lot of people are lazy about backups, and data gets lost. Google is likely to do a better job of mirroring and backing up Joe User's data than Joe himself is.

Jon_King




msg:3515652
 9:26 pm on Nov 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure where this thread is going but it seems to be another privacy issue thread...

I just don't get it, who would even think for a moment to put personal info on G servers? Are people nuts? G IS advertising, and needs YOUR market data to grow. They need and WILL keep tabs on your data usage.

Public data storage is a scam because of non-transparent motives. We have to do better teaching about personal data issues on the web.

londrum




msg:3515658
 9:34 pm on Nov 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

loads of people already use their gmail accounts as hard-drives anyway, why else would they give away 5 gigabytes, just to store your emails? ...no one talks that much

TinkyWinky




msg:3515670
 9:39 pm on Nov 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

You'd have to be nuts or plain stupid to even consider trusting a company with as much power as G has with all your files.

They have to targeting the lowest common denominator with this - which I guess means they will probably get 100's of millions on board :¦

Personally I can't believe people use gmail.com - but hey maybe that's just me!

europeforvisitors




msg:3515772
 1:04 am on Nov 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Maybe some people have more to hide than others do? :-)

Seriously, I think the privacy issue is way overblown here. If you're worried about privacy, there are much bigger issues than whether Google might peek at your family-budget spreadsheet or the racy honeymoon photos in your Picasa album. For example, your movements can be traced via mobile-phone networks, and (in many countries, including the U.S.) the government can snoop on e-mails and anything else that you send or receive through an ISP. Getting worked up over Google GDrive while subjecting yourself to other privacy intrusions is like giving up steaks for health reasons while continuing to eat hamburgers and hot dogs.

One other thing: Unlike the other examples of privacy intrusions that I've mentioned--or credit bureaus, for that matter--participation in GDrive and Gmail is completely voluntary. If you're paranoid, don't use such products. (And while you're at it, give up your cell phone, disconnect from the Internet, and cut up your credit cards.)

[edited by: europeforvisitors at 1:14 am (utc) on Nov. 29, 2007]

zeus




msg:3515775
 1:09 am on Nov 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

I recomend NOBODY to store ANY files witha SE or other service, it dossent matter if you are a PRO or just a normal computer user.

My solution, I have bought a QNAP with that harddisc I can get access to my files where ever I am over the net and its placed at home.

Tastatura




msg:3515805
 1:56 am on Nov 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Some see as some kind of of utopia the notion of some day sitting down at any computer anywhere and having all of "your stuff" available

yup, things are coming full circle, and we are going back to the early days (for those of us who can remember) when you sat in front of a terminal and everything was on a server :)

To keep on topic with this thread, at this stage there is no way I am keeping my data on Gdrive

m0thman




msg:3515806
 1:57 am on Nov 29, 2007 (gmt 0)


Maybe some people have more to hide than others do? :-)
Seriously, I think the privacy issue is way overblown here. If you're worried about privacy, there are much bigger issues than whether Google might peek at your family-budget spreadsheet or the racy honeymoon photos in your Picasa album. For example, your movements can be traced via mobile-phone networks, and (in many countries, including the U.S.) the government can snoop on e-mails and anything else that you send or receive through an ISP. Getting worked up over Google GDrive while subjecting yourself to other privacy intrusions is like giving up steaks for health reasons while continuing to eat hamburgers and hot dogs.

One other thing: Unlike the other examples of privacy intrusions that I've mentioned--or credit bureaus, for that matter--participation in GDrive and Gmail is completely voluntary. If you're paranoid, don't use such products. (And while you're at it, give up your cell phone, disconnect from the Internet, and cut up your credit cards.)

Bang on the money EFV.. I personally know a few paranoid individuals.

jtara




msg:3515824
 2:45 am on Nov 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Seriously, I think the privacy issue is way overblown here. If you're worried about privacy, there are much bigger issues than whether Google might peek at your family-budget spreadsheet or the racy honeymoon photos in your Picasa album.

And it's not a problem when (not if) some of that data is stolen from Google?

Consider the expense and bother to both individuals and companies when fairly limited personal data - say, details for a single credit card - has been compromised.

Now, imagine the chaos when much more extensive data is lost. Imagine having to close EVERY financial account you have! And having to file multiple affidavits of forgery. Having to go through drawn-out procedures to recover lost funds from multiple accounts.

Not to mention that I simply don't want Google looking at my family-budget spreadsheet. I don't want them doing what they intend to do with it (target me with annoyingly-personal ads), let alone the potential damage if the data is compromised.

europeforvisitors




msg:3515829
 2:54 am on Nov 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't want them doing what they intend to do with it (target me with annoyingly-personal ads), let alone the potential damage if the data is compromised.

OK, don't sign up, then. But if Joe User feels that targeted ads are a reasonable price to pay for reliable, accessible-from-anywhere data storage, that's for Joe User to decide. (That same Joe User may already be doing his taxes with the TurboTax or TaxCut online product, where the data is a lot more useful to the corporate host--or to a hacker--than a typical Joe User data dump of MP3 files, photo albums, and manuscript drafts of an unpublishable novel.)

As for "potential damage if the data is compromised," that's probably less of an issue with Google than it is with local hard-drive storage for the average home user who hasn't heard of routers or firewalls. (I remember reading an article in my local newspaper a while back about a suburban guy who discovered that he could access the hard drives of his neighbors through his cable TV broadband connection.)

[edited by: europeforvisitors at 2:57 am (utc) on Nov. 29, 2007]

Miamacs




msg:3515833
 2:55 am on Nov 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Whilst using it is 100% out of the question for me...

50% is distrust of proper privacy measures ( unintentional, 'accidental', AOL/eBay style )
50% is data being elsewhere physically, outside my 'juridiction'

I mean I've had my share of failed hard drives, once we even had an improperly set up raid go dead by copying the HDs down to every bit of physical malfunction. So... I get the 'idea' how it's supposed to be cool that they might be storing it on better equipment. ( or do they? Or is this the same low-end PC Google DCs...? - paraphrased the official bragging, sorry. )

And yet even in bad weather, I *feel* safer driving my own car ( or choosing not to ), than sitting on a plane. Might be just me, but I don't think preferring to be in the same room... or city... with your own data would be a trait of a control freak. And even if you're on the road, knowing that you can send your cousin or uncle up the apartment to kick the box back to life is more reassuring than a *cough* FREE storage service with no support at all... at a DC... wherever. ( I wouldn't even know. ) AND to top it all off, we're talking about a leading Ad-market pinoeer here, the kind that can make use of every second-hand toothpick in California that has a DNA print on it to be analyzed for eating habits. ( j/k )

But then again I've never used such services - so 50% of this is my generic attitude, and not aimed at Google -, and apart of servers for hosting in other countries, I barely store data elsewhere than *tap tap* here.

[edited by: Miamacs at 2:57 am (utc) on Nov. 29, 2007]

balam




msg:3515839
 3:17 am on Nov 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Reading the article, I saw two mutually exclusive & incompatible words: privacy and copyright.

Should GDrive see the light of day, I have no doubt The Masses, aka The Lowest Common Denominator, will jump on this. (The Masses are fond of jumping, even if it turns out to be off of a cliff...) Good points have already been made on the privacy issue, no need to reiterate, and we all (should) understand copyright (infringement) issues.

So, combine these three ingredients: The Masses, copyright & (the illusion of) privacy. What do you get? The same minor uproar that Facebook is, uh, facing by telling all my friends I just bought a book about dealing with AIDS (or cancer or something else sensitive & private).

And why do I think that? From the linked article:

In addition, Google will likely have to address copyright issues. Allowing consumers to share different types of files such as music with other users could trigger the sort of copyright complaints the company already faces over videos on its YouTube video sharing site. One person familiar with the matter says Google is discussing with copyright holders how to approach the issue and has some preliminary solutions.

Emphasis mine.

So, folks will be expecting privacy (even when confronted with tax ads beside their tax returns) while storing and sharing the latest Britney Spears album with friends, only to discover they've been ratted out by Google, who has been sniffing through all their files, to the RIAA. The first Google-enabled lawsuit will definitely take off some of the luster of their "Don't Be Evil" shine.

Ya, mark me down as paranoid and one with something to hide. It's called my personal life (and it's not for sale to the highest AdWords bidder). If I don't personally expose it to the world, then it's just none of your damned business. Pretty simple in theory and practice. And not handing over my tax statements, scanned love letters, medical records, pr0n collection and other whatnot to Google is just a no-brainer.

jtara




msg:3515864
 4:26 am on Nov 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

OK, don't sign up, then. But if Joe User feels that targeted ads are a reasonable price to pay for reliable, accessible-from-anywhere data storage, that's for Joe User to decide.

There are some things that we, as a society, decide that an individual simply can't give permission for.

For example, in most places you aren't allowed to sell your body parts. No matter how many waivers you sign. We just won't allow somebody to damage themselves in that way for remuneration.

I feel strongly that, at minimum, a click-through license should be insufficient to permit somebody to rummage through your stuff for marketing purposes. Given the potential for abuse, perhaps it shouldn't be permitted at all.

techrealm




msg:3515887
 5:42 am on Nov 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Having had million dollar losses due to losing a few files with "best practices in place" (insert deep and ill stomach feeling here). I can't count (actually I have) the amount of innocent errors that can kill a good process. Now, I do know my ability to sleep at nite has been increased by having (several)automated offsite backups with service partners that I HAVE TESTED the backups from, regularly.

Now if Google or any company scares you please don't use it, but please do something - and do it right now - make sure all your files are secure and you have a plan.

Frankly I would only use paid services with custom encryption keys for my critical backups - making sure they can burn to dvd for me weekly and mail them to the accountant who likes hard copies in his safe.

This is so that I know when the office building floods and my house burns after someone stole my laptop out of my car (a fairly reasonable example of a bad day). I can make three calls and be back up and running in the time it takes to configure new machines.

If Google is gonna come out and say they have a viable product, once its out of BETA it should be reviewed as any competitive service. Take all the TOS and laws you believe are applicable and make a educated decision based on your needs and budget.

If you can't look a company in the Create Account here button and go - yeah these guys won't do me wrong. Then quickly close your browser dump your cache, run cookie cleaners and move on - but PLEASE make sure you do something.

isorg




msg:3515941
 7:19 am on Nov 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Agree with all the sentiments above.

However, on a practical note, I can't see how this could possibly work for me.

All my data adds to a staggering 50Gb (years of photos, music, MP3s, software backups etc.) My broadband ISP gives me a 12GB/month upload + download quota, after which I am capped at 56kps :-( Am I really going to blow my bandwidth by uploading files to Google?!

Also, sometimes the ISP goes down and we don't have internet access for a few hours. (BTW this is in a metropolitan area!) The risks are too great, the benefits not obvious.

These are fundamental problems with Google's vision of "web-based computing".

Finally, home computers are getting better, faster, more powerful every day, their market penetration is increasing and hard disk prices per Gb are falling. Even my grandmother has her own PC. It is unfortunate that Google is set to tell the masses that their own home PCs are inherently unreliable and dangerous, and that security lies in the masses - i.e. at the Googleplex :-(

The saving grace (I believe) is the dull, geeky UI. Google.com as a search engine is popular and serves its purpose, but fewer people amongst the masses (me included) have ventured in any meaningful way into Gmail, etc. How will Google then handle the UI aspects of handing over all your data to a stranger? :-)

Rodney




msg:3515959
 8:03 am on Nov 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

One other thing: Unlike the other examples of privacy intrusions that I've mentioned--or credit bureaus, for that matter--participation in GDrive and Gmail is completely voluntary.

I agree with this. I don't want some lawmaker telling me what backup services I can use (or what businesses can offer which services).

Google isn't forcing people to use this "potential" service.

There are already similar services out there like carbonite, mirra, etc.

Why can't Google put out it's own offering for those that want to?

Sure, let the laws regulate how they can use the data. Corporations aren't untouchable. Several corporations have fallen to scandals. Google's not immune if something big happened.

This 48 message thread spans 2 pages: 48 ( [1] 2 > >
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