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Google GDrive Wants Your Data

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

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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]
3:14 pm on Nov 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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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.

Hmmm....I don't recall anything about Google's wanting your kidneys or liver along with your data, but I guess we'll have to wait for the fine print. :-)

Seriously: There's no rule that says a person has to upload everything to a third-party server. For most people, GDrive is likely to be the equivalent of a secondary drive or drive partition. I'd guess that the average person will reveal less about himself with his uploaded data files than he would with the e-mails that he stores at Gmail or Hotmail, the tax data that he uploads to the TaxCut and TurboTax Web applications, the travel records stored by airline frequent-flyer programs, or the nominally anonymous (but subject to subpoena) posts at a forum like Webmaster World.

3:31 pm on Nov 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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"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."

FYI: They store things called "music" and "videos" including full length movies. Each photo from a digital camera can be over 2MB now. Some people rip CDs and don't want the music compressed very much. I have 20GB of travel photos (no, no girlie pics) and 57GB of uncompressed FLAC music. It really is much more convenient than loading CDs.

8:36 pm on Nov 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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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?!

This is a real issue for these types services, I know my images collection is 100gigs and I didn't blink an eye to upload it to a storage service but I know my ISP wont block me for that (I pay a decent chunk for it). How many people can upload their entire hard drives without violating their terms of service?

11:56 pm on Nov 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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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.)

You still pretend you don't get it...

Your reasoning would be true only if GDrive or Gmail were completely different, unrelated companies. If you combine Google Search, Google Adsense, Google Adwords, Google Analytics, GDrive, Google Gmail, Google Talk, Google Checkout, Google Radio, Google Phone, Google Products, and any other possible Google Advertising Services that are owned by ONE company, your reasoning makes no sense.

I don't care that my cell phone company, credit card company, or my ISP know where I am or what I do - because they only have one piece of information about me. But Google would have pretty much the whole image of me.

12:28 am on Nov 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I don't care that my cell phone company, credit card company, or my ISP know where I am or what I do - because they only have one piece of information about me. But Google would have pretty much the whole image of me.

If anyone has a partial look at your info with your blessing eg. c/c, phones etc, they have allot more info than they are letting you know. I would revisit how they use that data if I were you. Just because it may not be "online", doesn't it is used to "market" to you. And having some experience with people "marketing" to me only using that info it can an eye opening experience.

Google is not the only online personal data silo out there. If anything they are just cutting out the middle men who in my opinion have much less creditability and simply allow anyone who pays access to the ACTUAL info...

1:40 pm on Nov 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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There is a point of view that "If everyone else is using personal info for marketing purposes, why shouldn't Google?"

Any rational long-term view might suggest that products should sell on the basis that they provide real benefit to the consumer rather because they are hustled using psychological tricks which promote impluse buying. Actually, no-one should be using records of personal info for marketing purposes.

How is the analysis of different sorts of personal data to (indirectly or directly) generate laser-targeted marketing messages which the individual then responds to more readily than they would to more randomly fired marketing messages good for anyone in the long run?

Yes, marketing needs to be targeted.

No, it doesn't need to be targeted to the point where it's manipulative.

We're not going to draw a line anywhere?

We all know people who are permanently in debt and permanently servicing that debt. (And I'm sure most of us have been there ourselves - I know I have three times). That's because at some point or another they were persuaded against their own best interests to spend money which they didn't have and were unlikely to have for some time.

Who benefits when marketing messages are so well targeted to the individual that the individual ends up spending a lot more on things they don't need than they otherwise would have done?

Who benefits when everyone is debt and servicing that debt?

Yes it's up to people to make responsible decisions in their own lives but making responsible and intelligent decisions sometimes requires the experience of having learned to think in certain ways.

Some people here are saying: "If you don't want the service, don't use it." Fair enough. But it wasn't two months ago when a Brazilian acquaintance of mine informed me that Orkut was far superior to Facebook. I inquired why. "It's from Google," she smiled, "everything from Google is better."

4:12 pm on Nov 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Humm could be usefull as free back up space for websites, encrypt, tar and off to Gdrive for free! no more hosting back up plans
11:00 pm on Nov 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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But Google would have pretty much the whole image of me.

Only if you gave them access to every piece of information about you.

Most data on people's hard drives is of no interest to anyone except themselves. Does anyone here seriously believe that Google will scour through Jo and Joe User's hard drive, using pattern recognition to identify pictures of kids' soccer teams so it can serve ads that are targeted to soccer moms and dads?

11:44 pm on Nov 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Does anyone here seriously believe that Google will scour through Jo and Joe User's hard drive, using pattern recognition to identify pictures of kids' soccer teams so it can serve ads that are targeted to soccer moms and dads?

Yes.

12:00 am on Dec 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Does anyone here seriously believe that Google will scour through Jo and Joe User's hard drive, using pattern recognition to identify pictures of kids' soccer teams so it can serve ads that are targeted to soccer moms and dads?

Yes, something like that already happens when logged to Gmail account, for example.

12:27 am on Dec 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Does anyone here seriously believe that Google will scour through Jo and Joe User's hard drive, using pattern recognition to identify pictures of kids' soccer teams so it can serve ads that are targeted to soccer moms and dads?

OK, maybe not quite yet. At least until they get the bugs out of the image-recognition code.

Check recent news stories about the gaffes Google has committed in Google News:

Google's 'Racist' Glitch [newsweek.com]

Oops!

But, yes, I absolutely believe that Google would like to recognize that that's Aunt Tillie in Trafalgar Square, and try to sell you a European vacation.

Google is clearly working on image recognition and matching. They've even rolled it out prematurely - and to great embarrassment - in their News product.

We will hear the squeals only when they start advertising wrinkle cream based on the photos they've rummaged-through.

3:07 am on Dec 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I'm not too worried about uploading my personal information into the Google vault, but I'm not likely to do it...because it would have to pass through the internet to get there.

And considering that most (if not all) data is being copied by the current administration, for data mining and general 'Big Brother Type' activities...I'm not inclined to let them make a copy of my personal stuff while it's on it's way into the G vault.

5:19 pm on Dec 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Does anyone here seriously believe that Google will scour through Jo and Joe User's hard drive, using pattern recognition to identify pictures of kids' soccer teams so it can serve ads that are targeted to soccer moms and dads?

Uh, that's information, correct? Something that Google is hungry for, yes? And it has an obvious advertising angle, wouldn't you say? And Google admits they will be examining the data you upload, remember? There's advertising in your personal Geemail, isn't there?

J'accuse! The crime is wilfull ignorance!

5:37 pm on Dec 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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EFV,
no offense but you seem to automatically back Google in everything.

>> to identify pictures of kids' soccer teams so it can serve ads that are targeted to soccer moms and dads?

Another angle: or to see if that picture of your 6 month old is an innocent diaper changing one vs. a kkiiddiiee prrrron one. You know, they do have such software. So next time a child in Arizona gets kidnapped, "Child Advocates" will demand scans to "protect children". At best you're looking at a FBI raid and your name all over the papers. If you have real pics or ones that were sent as an attachment or automatically downloaded by spyware, you might as well commit suicide. Your life is over either way.

Until recently email was opened by feds by simply asking: no warrant and no one would tell you. [blog.wired.com...] . Luckily email was considered like a phone call so it is protected, will your content have the same protection?

[edited by: walkman at 6:18 pm (utc) on Dec. 1, 2007]

6:06 pm on Dec 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Another angle

Hmm.. That could be even worse than creating a "Buy Pagerank" website and putting links to your competitors. I imagine it's not difficult to create a script that would send child p)rn pictures or clips from an overseas server to randomly selected (or not) Gmail users.. In some cases it might require a lot of explaining on how it landed there (subscription?, a "friend" sending the "content"?, spam?, etc.).

A new way of sabotage. It depends how Google would respect the user's privacy..

3:28 pm on Dec 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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EFV,
no offense but you seem to automatically back Google in everything.

Nope. I'm just not into group panic and hatefests--especially when users of a service have to opt in, not out, before they can use it.

Fact is, this is just another service that Google is thinking of offering (along with the existing GMail, Google Groups, etc.) to encourage registrations. Google's competitive disadvantage vs. Yahoo, Facebook, etc. is that it mostly has anonymous users and not "members" or "subscribers." Adding services that encourage or require registration will make Google more competitive in the mainstream advertising marketplace, where advertisers are more interested in audience demographics and behavior than they are in keywords.

4:22 pm on Dec 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Humm..... I dont think so.

It's bad enough they peoples personal google bookmarks are showing up in the serps. Think if all your personal files did too. eek

9:08 am on Dec 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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This whole idea is little creepy.

However, I will still love to see as to what Google has in mind to revolutionize this industry. Until now, it has been bunch of crap

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