Google Drive, Another Privacy Disaster

Google France accidentally shared all the details about Google Drive before the product’s official announcement. The product is integral to Google’s Android ecosystem like SkyDrive is to Windows and iCloud is to iOS/OSX and has a some useful features like wider file format support and better search.

Sundar Pichai’s blog post that detailed Google Drive talked about how Google will offer better search capabilities. Here’s what he has to say:

Search All. Search by keyword and filter by document type, owner, activity, etc.. Drive can even recognize the text content of a document scanned by technology OCR. For example, if you download the scanned image of an old newspaper clipping, you can search using one of the words quoted in the article. We have even begun to tap the image recognition: if you upload a picture of the Eiffel Tower in Drive, the next time you search the term [Eiffel Tower], the image will appear in the results

*Emphasis mine.

While the search feature sounds all kinds of exciting, Google scanning all the documents I upload seems a little scary. The company is notorious for using such information to target ads and I see no reason why they won’t go through my documents to know more about me. OCR or Optical Character Recognition will enable Google to store the contents of documents somewhere with them. I am not sure the ability to search for my document should come at the price of corporation knowing the contents of my documents.

This is not about proprietary information but simply about keeping them out of my business and only offering me services.

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Manan Kakkar

Manan is a technology enthusiast keenly following the consumer products from Microsoft, Google & Apple.