Now that a bit more information is available and I’ve had the opportunity to try it out, I’d like to follow up on my last post on Google’s new Drive offering.
It is now clear that, like Dropbox, Drive offers users the ability to define a single local folder, which is backed up to Drive and can be shared with other users. While this is certainly a step in the right direction, allowing each user to synchronize just one folder is extremely limiting. Nobody wants to pick and choose what information they want to protect; they want all their data backed up safely and securely to the cloud.
With just 5GB free, it would be difficult for most users to back up their entire hard drive on Drive for free. So Google is offering paid plans starting at $2.49 per month for 25GB. That is about 10 cents per GB per month, which is in line with other traditional cloud storage offerings. You can cut that rate in half by purchasing 100GB for $4.99 per m
Five cents per GB is competitive pricing. Has Google figured out a way to store data for less? Or are traditional providers really raking in the bucks with their higher pricing? Turns out it may be neither. A quick look at Google’s Terms of Service reveals this bit of insight – and my gut is Google is offsetting the costs with its ad revenue:
“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.”
In all likelihood nobody from Google (or those they work with) will be reading, using or distributing your content, but knowing their history and primary source of revenue, it is likely that the files you upload will be used to further build out an advertising profile which will follow you around all Google properties.
For most consumer users this is probably neither surprising nor a major point of concern. After all, we have all gotten used to this with Gmail, Facebook, Twitter and every other ad-based service we use. But for businesses who are interested in protecting their data both from loss and the preying eyes of outsiders, this sort of policy seems a bit too invasive.