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Store 100%: No Thanks

By - March 06, 2006

Forever and a day, we’ve discussed the idea that the Google Grid is coming, and a slide which apparently slipped in (and has been purged from) last week’s analyst day briefing has confirmed “GDrive.” Greg found it here (I mentioned this in another post, but did not pick up on this till now), Philipp expounds here. From the slide notes, which has been pulled from the presentation:

“Store 100% of User Data

With infinite storage, we can house all user files, including: emails, web history, pictures, bookmarks, etc and make it accessible from anywhere (any device, any platform, etc).

We already have efforts in this direction in terms of GDrive, GDS, Lighthouse, but all of them face bandwidth and storage constraints today. (…) This theme will help us make the client less important (thin client, thick server model) which suits our strength vis-a-vis Microsoft and is also of great value to the user.

As we move toward the “Store 100%” reality, the online copy of your data will become your Golden Copy and your local-machine copy serves more like a cache.”

The more I think about this, the more I’m not comfortable with the idea of having all my data in one place. Any place. Google or otherwise. It simply makes abuse too easy.


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24 thoughts on “Store 100%: No Thanks

  1. 1- Store remotely * ONLY * those files you are confortable with storing.

    2- Carry a USB on a keychain for those important files you do NOT want online.

  2. I wouldn’t do it just because I would want to run for political office some day. I can only imagine the potential ability of Google already to call up an individual and use their internet usage patterns against them. Its scary the amount of data they have.

  3. Kenny says:

    I certainly will not be using this service. I don’t even understand why people use Google Desktop Search. I don’t know about other people, but I do not trust Google that much to allow them to have full reign of my data.

  4. BillyG says:

    which is exactly why I erase cookies everytime I leave a site and have not & will not be using any of the “desktop search” engines (I don’t keep enuff emails to have any problem searching thru on my own anyway and my Ava Find works wonders for my harddrive searches)

    You just have to use each service for what they are good for and not fall into using everything else just because it’s available (Google = websearch period).

  5. I hear what your saying about having all the storage in one place is a bad idea. The idea of this has been around for some time but no company could deliver this level of storage till now.

  6. adam says:

    this situation reminds me of a hypothetical question Chuck Klosterman posed in one of his books, I think it went something like this…

    “At long last, someone invents the ‘dream VCR.’ This machine allows you to tape an entire evening’s worth of your dreams, which you can then watch at your leisure. However, the inventor of the dream VCR will only allow you to use this device if you agree to a strange caveat: when you watch your dreams, you must do so with your family and closest friends in the same room. They get to watch your dreams along with you. And if you don’t agree to this, you can’t use the dream VCR. Would you still do this?”

    The choice becomes a lot easier if the majority of people choose to use this “dream VCR” (or have 100% of their user data stored online)…when everyone’s little secrets are out in the open, things that might keep us out of a political office today might be something that doesn’t even bat an eye tomorrow.

  7. Wai Yip Tung says:

    Just think about the reaction if Microsoft offers this ‘service’ to users.

  8. JG says:

    At the risk of straying too far off-topic, I was reminded by adam’s comment above of a 1991 Wim Wenders film called Until the End of the World. In it, characters have a device in which they can record their own dreams. Eventually, they become addicted to the viewing and reviewing of these dream recordings. Fascinated with themselves. The film is a powerful morality tale on the dangers of our own navel-gazing.

    I wonder if we are not doing something similar, with all this search personalization and storage. At what point does this fascination with looking at ourselves (i.e. ubiquitous storage and retrieval of every online shred of our lives) cease being useful, and start being.. well.. er.. just creepy?

    Anyway, it is a good film. Would recommend the director’s cut.

  9. Fazal Majid says:

    This service is perfect for offline backups, just encrypt your files prior to uploading them…

  10. Google definitively has very grand ambitions! It is unstoppable and too much investment would be required by nearly all competitors to catchup.

    Unfortunately it looks very likely that they will become the world’s information leach! Sucking out the information value of every industry.

    The other thing that worries me with GDrive is that I think that sooner or later governments will have access to the GDrive data. The US government will push as hard as it can to get access to that data.

  11. Fazal, that could be a good option. For Google to somehow include a plugin that encrypt the files before they get uploaded. Ideally that plugin would be somehow opensource or open architecure so that it was possible to verify that it can’t be manipulated.

    Because Google is determined to protect our privacy, they should not have a problem with this encryption solution, right?

  12. Philip Pearlman says:

    another loser for google… man, these guys are oh-fer since search ads… and with reyes letting truth slip last week, how long will it be before google stumbles even further in the rev grwth dept or even worse before they make some ill advised acquisition to try to stem the deceleration…

  13. Murali says:

    Julian,

    Increasingly, many people (me included) are beginning to doubt Google’s ability & willingness to protect our privacy

    Frankly, they _dont_ need to have the kind of info on people like you & me that they already have and to make things worse, they are asking for more

    Bad ! Evil ! Beware of Google !

  14. Tony Casson says:

    In my opinion, web based storage has to happen eventually, once we have convergence and all media is delivered to us digitally. As we have more networked devices, we will need a common location for all of our files. Take the following factors:

    1) Storage costs decreasing.
    2) Laptops and Desktop costs decreasing.
    3) Bandwidth availability increasing.
    4) Networked devices increasing – phones, cars, mp3 players, etc.

    With decreased costs and a proliferation of devices, we may find ourselves with 4 or more new devices a year that need to sync content with the others. Talk about a pain. I foresee three ways to overcome this problem:

    1) Web storage
    2) Home storage appliances, such as Yellow Machine, with LAN and WAN broadcast capabilites.
    3) Virtual ownership of content – your media files don’t reside anywhere on your storage. They are available from your service provider on demand as you need them.

    I agree that there are a host of issues with all of these options. Which horse would you bet on though?

  15. Brian Klais says:

    This thought offends our sensibilities in 2006.

    Yet GDS is already performing the data collection for Google – gathering our personal files, web pages, email and history. With the new set of web-enabled GDS features (http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2006/02/new-on-your-desktop.html), Google can use our data to weave a massive timestamped history of our collective digital lives – recreating the digital past in the process.

    As our lives extend beyond just one device, web based access to our digital history will grow, and storing all your data with G (or someone else?) will simply become too convenient to resist.

    The network seems destined to become self aware. Where is John Connor when you need him?

    BSK

  16. Errol says:

    What is the big deal about this GDrive? I’m already using Gmail as my backup storage for files I don’t want to lose. From my music files to all kinds of documents, I just back them up to Gmail. I think that we fool ourselves into believing we actually have privacy. Our privacy was compromised a long time a go. When you think about it, how many of us really do everything we need to do on a daily basis to protect our electronic data? I know that Google will do a much better job than most of us will ever do.
    You thrust your bank to protect your financial data but if you think about it, almost all employees have access to your data. Identity thefts have used financial institutions employees as their main source of getting your information. From I have the data your bank has on you, I can become you in a financial sense. So how can storing your data in a random, encrypted and virtually unstructured way in Google’s servers, where it will be quite rear for a human to interact with your data be more risky.

  17. Joe Hunkins says:

    The HMS Privacy has almost sunk and will sink soon, but we have no good legal guidelines for the upcoming “total information awareness” world.

    People are all whining about whether Google “should” store 100% of their data. Irrelevant – they store a LOT of it now and they already have enough about your search history and your intentions to profile you accurately/dangerously/commericially.

    I’m for more transparency (they should be obligated to provide any user with any info they store on the user) and more laws about how they can use my data. This isn’t about trust, it’s about pragmatism.

  18. Chetan says:

    Privacy is Google’s Achilles heel

  19. Andrew says:

    There is a technical solution to this called public key encryption, the first online storage system that allows you to enter a public key on their site and have everything automatically encrypted on upload, then decrypted by a local private key, will win this battle… If they can explain the story behind it to the general public!

    I don’t see too many mainstream peeps using PGP but it was MADE for situations like this.

  20. nigel says:

    Be afraid…very afraid!!

    On-line storage would be a great solution

    ….Luddites all of you.

  21. Martin Bebow says:

    Nigel I agree. The move to web storage of data is irreversible. We will have data banks the way we have financial banks. We can finally be relieved of the problem of where to put our data they way we were relieved of the problem of where to put our money. It’s all a matter of trust which will come in time. This is a big issue and will have profound affect not only for individuals but for institutions which are now shackled by restraints due to data processing limitations imposed by having to have their own data processing equipment and personnel. Soon the web will be the platform and private data processing companies and data banks will handle an institutions data for them.

  22. M Azam says:

    can any one tell some good source for treadmills like this…..
    Bremshey Treadmills

  23. Brian says:

    ref. comment from Andrew, above:
    There’s already online storage with encryption under your own control exclusively: Sign up (free) on Quiknets.com, take some FcrLite encryption from the Download button and use it to encrypt files (and encrypt+ compress folders) which you upload to your Private Box on the site.(You can Decompress objects remotely on the network, thereby rebuilding your folder contents, but en/decryption stays strictly on your local system). Access from any IE browser, Windows. (You can also right-click any file in your Private Box and send it to any other members or to any email address.) We’ll add transparent, automatic encryption soon.

  24. Çadır says:

    There is a technical solution to this called public key encryption, the first online storage system that allows you to enter a public key on their site and have everything automatically encrypted on upload, then decrypted by a local private key, will win this battle… If they can explain the story behind it to the general public!