Google however denied this saying users retain ownership of any intellectual property rights they hold in the contents they create — so that Google cannot use it without the owner’s permission.
Speaking at at Nairobi’s Startup Garage, Peter Wasike, a tech analyst said a statement in Google’s Terms of Service is conflicting.
In the statement: 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.
Google defended the statement arguing it means the company gets the rights from users and developers to create and improve their service to the individual user.
“The rights granted to Google Drive are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones to the owner’s advantage,” Google said.
The company can’t therefore re-use personal content for its own purposes but only in order to serve clients themselves such as in customising user ads just as in Gmail or in response to a lawsuit.
The app that allows users to create, share, edit, store and access their word, presentations, spreadsheets and picture documents anywhere on the Web is accessible on Windows, Mac and Android phones. Google Drive offers 5GB of free cloud storage space to users.
Google Drive also makes it simpler for users to use other Google products. It has been the first to incorporate new features like optical character recognition that allows users to fast searches of the shared documents including scanned text in uploaded images and pictures stored on Google Drive.
The application also allows real time sharing and editing of folders though multiple interaction by many users can lead to technicalities in content loading.
Internet users have had a similar fear with a social networking site called Pinterest at its launch.