When it comes to personal cloud storage, we have a lot of choices. We showed you guys a comparison by the numbers of various cloud services going head to head with Google Drive based on price point. But here’s something we may have overlooked — terms of service. Ah, yes. That small, fine print you usually skip over when signing up for some kind of online service. Dropbox recently gave theirs an overhaul, presenting their ToS in easy to read, plain English. And while Google may have largely followed suit, removing most of the “legal speak” from their ToS, users still may not feel comfortable uploading all their content to Google’s cloud after reading it through. Theoretically, it appears as if Google could take all your of your uploaded content and make out like a bandit. Have a read for yourself:
“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.”
Doesn’t exactly put users fears to rest, does it? Once you upload it, it becomes sole property of Google. In comparison, lets take a look at some of the competition like Dropbox and Microsoft’s SkyDrive.
“By using our Services you provide us with information, files, and folders that you submit to Dropbox (together, “your stuff”). You retain full ownership to your stuff. We don’t claim any ownership to any of it. These Terms do not grant us any rights to your stuff or intellectual property except for the limited rights that are needed to run the Services, as explained below.”
“Except for material that we license to you, we don’t claim ownership of the content you provide on the service. Your content remains your content. We also don’t control, verify, or endorse the content that you and others make available on the service.”
Now, these differences in terms of service was originally posted on TheVerge Forums (Microsoft Tribe) where the OP was urging others to avoid Google Drive based on their terms of service posted above. What’s interesting is they forgot a little paragraph before the one quoted above that says,
“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.”
Well, doesn’t sound so scary after all…
What do you guys think? Keep in mind, this covers all of Google’s other services as well such as Gmail and Picasa, etc.. and while we don’t really expect Google to take the kind of action listed in their terms, this could be a red flag for those who are more cautious about where they upload their content to. After reading this through, are any of you feeling a little apprehensive about going all-in with Google Drive?