Google scans cloud files for illegal and harmful content – Market Research Telecast

December 18, 2021
Google announced a new policy for the Drive cloud storage service in the middle of the week. The US group wants to restrict future access to files that violate company guidelines and terms of use. These affect a wide range of criminal and harmful content. It ranges from cybercrime offenses to the protection of copyright law to depictions of child sexual abuse.

Like google explained in a blog post, the internet company will take steps to identify relevant files hosted on its platform. So it’s about area-wide scans of all uploaded elements with the dreaded upload filters. If the algorithms used for this work, the corresponding files are displayed to the user and automatically blocked for third parties. So they can no longer be shared with other people. Access to already distributed content is withdrawn from everyone except the uploader.
“This will help to ensure that the owners of Google Drive elements are fully informed about the status of their content,” said the company. At the same time, this ensures “that users are protected from abusive content”. On the other hand, Google wants to better protect itself against misuse of its own services.

The “Guidelines for Using Google Products“, which are now to be enforced more strongly, prohibit” dangerous and illegal activities “,” harassment, bullying and threats “and” hate speech “. Identity theft and misrepresentation, malware, phishing, spam and” non-consensual, permissive “are also not tolerated “Pictures such as nude photos and pornography in general. Exception:” Nudity is permitted for educational, documentary, scientific or artistic purposes. “

The long list also includes “misleading content”, unauthorized pictures of minors, blood and drastic depictions of violence as well as propaganda by violent organizations and movements. Even copyrighted content may not be shared without permission or links to websites on which such material can be downloaded illegally. Repeated violations lead to “termination of your account”.

“We have to curb abuses that threaten our ability to provide these services,” said Google. All users are asked to adhere to the guidelines. “After being notified of a possible policy violation, we can review the content and take action, including restricting access to the content, removing the content, and restricting or terminating a user’s access to Google products.”
How the company intends to distinguish in detail between legitimate files and non-regulatory content remains vague. In order to ensure that the repeatedly mentioned exceptions take effect for legitimate purposes, human reviewers would actually have to watch over the upload filters and make the final decision.
At the request of the online magazine “TechRadar Pro” the group did not want to comment directly on this. He only referred generally to the fact that the cloud service is constantly working to “protect the security of our users and society while always maintaining privacy”. With Gmail, content has long been scanned for spam, phishing and malware attacks. Now it is important to adopt this practice for Google Drive so that the service “remains as secure as possible for all users”.
For a long time, Google also analyzed emails in order to show users targeted personalized advertising. In 2017, the company discontinued this practice after data protection officials, among other things, put pressure on them. However, third-party developers can look into Gmail inboxes and read millions of emails, it became known in 2018.
In the EU, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and other service providers, who do not use end-to-end encryption for chats, video calls and e-mails, have recently been able to legally and voluntarily after sexualize the private messages of their users in the EU Scan child abuse images. To this end, the EU Parliament introduced exemptions from the application of some provisions of the E-Privacy Directive on data protection in electronic communication by means of an emergency ordinance in July. With the support of the Council of Ministers, the EU Commission is working on a follow-up law to make this controversial “chat control” mandatory for all relevant service providers.


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