badbadmonkey - 4:39 am on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)
There's a little paranoia in some of the above posts.
Here are the seemingly relevant sections of the Google TOS https://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/terms/ . I have emboldened those I see as 'reassuring'.
Privacy and Copyright Protection
Google’s privacy policies explain how we treat your personal data and protect your privacy when you use our Services. By using our Services, you agree that Google can use such data in accordance with our privacy policies.
We respond to notices of alleged copyright infringement and terminate accounts of repeat infringers according to the process set out in the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
We provide information to help copyright holders manage their intellectual property online. If you think somebody is violating your copyrights and want to notify us, you can find information about submitting notices and Google’s policy about responding to notices in our Help Center.
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 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.
This all seems more or less okay to me. They need an IP license to do anything useful with your content, to provide the very service you presumably want, but limit the extent of use. I don't like the mention of "promoting, and improving our Services" but taken as a whole it doesn't seem to be the intent that they can do anything they like with your content. Particularly they are effectively extending the IP license to the controls set in the software. I.e. if you don't tick the box saying it's to be shared, it's not licensed for sharing, so they can't.
I remain concerned about the lack of options for client-side encryption with all of these services. It is a problem that a rogue employee at Google, or wherever, can access your data.