Google has announced a new policy for cloud storage service Drive, which will soon begin to restrict access to files deemed to be in violation of the company’s policies. TechRadar reports:
As explained in a new blog post, Google will take active steps to identify files hosted on its platform that are in breach of either its Terms of Service or abuse program policies. These files will be flagged to their owner and restricted automatically, which means they can no longer be shared with other people, and access will be withdrawn from everyone but the owner. “This will help ensure owners of Google Drive items are fully informed about the status of their content, while also helping to ensure users are protected from abusive content,” the company explained.
According to Google, the motive behind the policy change is to shield against the abuse of its services. This broad catchall encompasses cybercriminal activity (like malware hosting, phishing etc.), hate speech, and content that might endanger children, but also sexually explicit material. “We need to curb abuses that threaten our ability to provide these services, and we ask that everyone abide by [our policies] to help us achieve this goal,” states Google in its policy document. “After we are notified of a potential policy violation, we may review the content and take action, including restricting access to the content, removing the content, and limiting or terminating a user’s access to Google products.” Google goes on to say that it may make “exceptions based on artistic, educational, documentary or scientific considerations.” As noted by TechRadar, “there is a system to request a review of a decision if someone feels a file has been restricted unfairly, but it’s unclear how the process will be handled on Google’s end and how long it might take.”