Companies tell employees not to use Google Drive for now

Concerns about privacy, intellectual property drive cautious approach to new storage offering

A number of companies, including The New York Times, voiced concerns this week about the privacy and intellectual property implications of using Google Drive, the search engine giant's recently launched online storage service, report Quentin Hardy and Nicole Perlroth at The New York Times. The Big Apple's biggest newspaper instructed employees not to use Drive or Gmail for work until further notice.

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Drive started offering 5 gigabytes of storage free of charge earlier this week. The concern is that content loaded onto the application could be scanned and used by Google for its own purposes.

As Hardy and Perlroth note, Google's terms-of-service agreement includes this language: "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 response from Google, according to the Times: "Google executives seemed puzzled by the concern, saying that the same policies had applied to services like Gmail for years, and actually did not differ much from those of competitors. 'It's not very different from policies at Dropbox, Box.Net, or Microsoft,' said Jill Hazelbaker, a Google spokeswoman."

For more:
- see Hardy and Perlroth's article at The New York Times

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