Disclaimer: This post is not to say that Google Drive isn’t good or is not an option for you, it might very well be. This post reflects a thought that’s pertinent to all users. It’s an underlying need we have that’s addressed rather fleetingly or the facts remained submerged at the endless sea of legal disclaimers, terms, and usage policies some vendors have. This post is about that ugly, recurring thought that haunts all of us, regarding ALL cloud-based services — to some extent or the other.
We have been covering a lot of news on Google Drive, and it’s launched now (as a beta invite-only, thanks to a helpful comment from Mel — one of our readers).
Mauricio wrote out a detailed preview recently. Please read the Google Drive sneak peak, in case you haven’t. Mauricio, and my other blogger friends (here and elsewhere) covered a lot of ground on Google Drive.
At the risk of being deviant, however, I have a point to make.
I am not much of the “terms and conditions” kind – at least not any more than I have to be. As a consumer, I expect clear, simple, and straightforward terms and conditions. Whether I purchase graphic art or a multi-acre estate, I need information about buying terms and policies upfront, laid out as simple as moving my fingers on a keyboard.
I am not a server management specialist. I am not THAT much into servers, layered security protocols, cloud interface management, etc. I understand technology if I had to, though ( most people don’t or can’t or both)
For me, buying something isn’t as much of a worry than the trouble I’d also buy as a part of the package. In terms of cloud services, if I had to purchase a cloud storage or cloud backup plan, data security is the biggest concern.
Security, for me, means two things:
- How robust, solid, and long lasting are those companies (or vendors) who host, back up, and store my data?
- What can (or cannot) these vendors do (or don’t with my data)?
As you can see, I don’t have much control on the first of my worries, so I’d go with helpful reviews on sites such as our own cloudbackuping.com (read more of our reviews or sign-up below) or plenty of other websites where users review and write.
As for the second of my two worries, I do have control: I have a choice.
I can only dare say that I don’t feel good about the service.
“Google’s terms say … that anything you upload to Google Drive can be used by Google and you can’t stop that by removing it”
That doesn’t sound good to me. If Google has access to my data (which it does), and when Google openly declares that it CAN use my data, why would I want to spill my secrets to the big guy?
While vendors like Dropbox, SpiderOak, Crashplan, and Microsoft (SkyDrive) have encrypted information storage in place, I somehow seem to be able to place more trust in these smaller companies when compared to Google.
Why so? I have more reasons:
Google is intent on creating an ecosystem. David Amerland, on Social Media Today , wrote an interesting post where he shares how using Google Drive could affect online marketing efforts. To cut the long story short, he states that if your website has a problem with SEO, as one instance of a long list of possibilities, could Google penalize your website? It very well can.
But your trouble with Google won’t end there, according to David: your Google+ account, your YouTube account, and almost all your online life can be affected if the big wolf Google sees a reason to slap its big tantrums on you.
Google is futuristic, fast evolving, data-driven, and ambitious.It makes terrific products and is a brand that’s syncs with trust. For right or wrong, it unleashes Panda, wreaks havoc, and is increasingly turning out to be all too spread out trying to do everything on the web.
It’s too big to mess with, for your own good. As for Internet publishers, they don’t have a choice but to rely on Google for SEO purposes. Further Internet users, unmistakable use Google for search.
For users who just need a reliable, robust, cloud backup or storage solution, why subscribe to trouble?
Google has some of the best products across various segments of the market. If it remained a super-responsive search engine, I’d be happy. But if it spreads its tentacles too far, I am not too happy with that.
But it isn’t perfect. When it bares its teeth, all hell can break lose. So, why take it when you have choices?
Google Drive – with all due respect to the might of the Google God – is 5 GB worth of trouble to me. Anything I store there is at risk. If the apples rot, the whole refrigerator is going to stink, and then Google is going to come raging at me like a bull.
I feel that smaller cloud backup and storage companies are a much safer bet. They worry about growth, they love their customers, they have a need to profit, they cannot afford to throw their weight around, and they certainly know that competition is strife.
Much like the famous “Avis Car Rental” advertisement, which says, “We are No.2 and hence we work harder”, I believe that it’s the smaller vendors who you should go to buy your cloud backup or storage plan.
When choices abound, I don’t see a reason to feed the big elephant in the room. The smarter thing to do is to keep the elephant out in the courtyard and make space for others.
I’ll be happy to hear your views on this one. Please feel free to comment.
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