G-Drive and privacy: where do YOU draw the line

Posted by Ryan Jerz on Wednesday December 5, 2007.

I wrote yesterday in The Hurl about Google’s to-be-released-sometime G-Drive. What enticed me to write about it was the article I came across in Popular Mechanics that spoke of the privacy concerns pf uploading all of your files to a third-party storage facility, especially one that is known to comb through that data in an effort to push ads on the people using their products. It’s an interesting question, but not one that we haven’t been asked before.

It has become pretty common for you, me, and just about everyone we know to use a great service that also happens to be offered by Google—Google Mail. When it launched in 2004, many of the very same things were brought up. There were articles calling Google evil and there is even a site lambasting Google over their mail service. The privacy concerns were largely ignored, it seems, by most of us, and according to “Tim O’Reilly, correctly. We now use Gmail as our mail client of choice.

Why would the use of an online hard drive be any different? For the vast majority of users, there simply isn’t any reason to be afraid of what Google might accidentally come across with a routine scan of files in order to properly place contextual ads.

So what I’m asking is that you explain your position. Where do you draw the line? What are your concerns? Does the introduction of a superior online storage product (there is nothing that indicates Google won’t hit this out of the park) outweigh the possibility that your files will be scanned?

I recognize that in order to preserve freedom there must be advocates at the far end of the spectrum. That’s why I’m asking what I’m asking. I’d venture to guess a lot of the people who are worried about Google’s products invading privacy haven’t really thought about how far they’re willing to be pushed before they break. I plan on using G-Drive extensively if/when it’s finally released. I’m not concerned about the possibility that they may know what I wrote in a file or how much money I have in the bank. I fit the clichéd argument that I have nothing to hide. But I am thinking about how far I’ll go. I don’t know the answer yet, but I can say that I haven’t been pushed far enough yet.

Ryan JerzRyan Jerz is an all-around good guy who wants people to eventually refer to him as "that dude who climbs mountains."

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