On the first day of the new year, I got a notification from a Google Drive app.
“The Google Drive service is offline for the foreseeable future,” it said.
I clicked the link and the drive’s screen went black.
After about two minutes, it came back online.
But it was still empty.
“Why did the Google Drive Service go offline?”
I asked the man who was the only one to respond.
“Google Drive was hacked,” he said.
“There are no more drive shares.”
“Are you sure you don’t want to lose your data?”
I texted back.
“Yes, I do,” he replied.
He told me that he would need to restore my drive’s storage to make it usable again.
A few days later, I emailed Google.
“I was hoping to have a good conversation with you,” I said.
A week later, he emailed me back.
The answer was a no-show.
“Your drive was hacked, and it will take a while to recover from it,” he wrote.
“You need to upgrade to a new drive.”
“What can I do to make sure I get the right drive?”
I emailed him again.
“It may take some time,” he responded.
“As a user, I want to be able to access my data at all times.
So you can make sure you upgrade your drive and get a new one,” I wrote.
The next day, I called him back and told him that I had a backup of my data.
The data had been backed up before.
“Do you want to do this?”
I told him.
“What is the backup?” he asked.
I told the answer he wanted to know.
He explained that the backup was an encrypted Google Drive file, encrypted with a key, and stored in a secure location.
“That is what I need for the upgrade,” I told them.
“How are you going to do that?” he told me.
“Not only will I need to download it and install it, but I also need to set up the backup and install the key,” I explained.
“Then I’ll be able access my Google Drive data at any time,” I asked.
“OK,” he told my wife.
The backup was just the first of a series of steps that I needed to take to make my drive usable again, but it was the first one.
The drive wasn’t just a backup, it was my entire digital existence, and I had no idea how to get back to it.
Google Drive is one of the most popular cloud storage apps, and there are millions of users around the world who use it to keep their data safe and secure.
“If Google was trying to make your data private, they could have just changed their terms of service and said, ‘You can’t read our files,'” said David Aitken, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
“But they don’t have the power to do it.”
It includes several sections that are designed to protect privacy.
“When you create or share a file, Google determines your interests and gives you the opportunity to decide whether to share it,” it reads.
But there’s one section that’s particularly concerning.
It says: “You may not: .
use Google Drive to send private, personally identifiable information about yourself or anyone else without our express prior permission.”
Google says it only uses data that is personally identifiable, and that it only allows people who know the user’s name to view the file.
The same section of the Privacy Statement also says that, “We may share your files and content with third parties, including our partners and advertisers.”
But Google also said that Google Drive doesn’t store information like credit card numbers, passwords, or IP addresses.
And it said that, when a user clicks “Share,” Google does not store information about that person’s device or device location, which is vital to the safety of other people.
“We don’t know how Google would use your data if it knew your location,” Google wrote.
When I asked Google about this, they told me they are not allowed to share any information about a user’s location with any third parties.
But this policy isn’t just about privacy.
It’s also about Google’s business model, and how it deals with privacy-conscious businesses.
“This is the third-most important thing to me about Google,” said Aitker.