Today, Google announced Drive, a personal cloud storage service. It is supposed to integrate tightly with Google products and serve as a competitor to Dropbox1 or Microsoft’s SkyDrive. It sounds pretty cool with affordable pricing.
However, a quick comparison of the Terms of Service for each company tempered my enthusiasm.
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.
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.
I am not too thrilled with the idea of giving Google (and their unnamed associates) a worldwide license to create and own derivative works of my content. Especially when that content could contain sensitive information. It is an easy choice to stick with Dropbox.
Update: Please read this follow-up where I expand on this post in order to clarify a few things.
Shamless Alert: If you aren’t using Dropbox and are interested, use this link to sign up for a free account. Using the link means we both get free extra storage. ↩︎