Since the launch of Google Drive this week, many people have elected to compare the service that Google offers to that of Dropbox. This comparison can be made in the context of storage space, pricing, ease of use and functionality. Certainly the competitiveness between the two service is evident and, even upon launch, Google is clearly making a strong case for Apple users electing to use them as their primary cloud storage service (iCloud not withstanding). However, another issue has been particularly evident over discussion forums and opinion articles. The issue of trust.
I’ve seen, and heard, many people have expressed the opinion that they don’t want to Google to store their personal data. That they would rather trust Dropbox over Google. That they aren’t sure if they can trust Google. Much of this perception could simply be attributed to image. Dropbox does just one thing and it is does it with excellence. Google, on the other hand, does so many things that it’s easy to lose count. Some are fantastic, some not so much, but there is a lot of crossover between services. But where does the unease with Google holding personal data stem from?
Given that GMail is a phenomenally successful service, it’s likely that some of the people who are reluctant to share their data over Google Drive are also using GMail. As an example of behavior that might put some people off, Google scans your email content and then offers targeted ads in their web interface. If you use their service then you have to accept that. Is this type of targeted scanning where the reluctance to embrace Drive comes from? Perhaps.
Personally, I’ve got no issues with Google Drive but I’m sticking with Dropbox because, in my opinion, it’s a better service and it’s got an excellent iOS app. I don’t keep excessively private stuff on Dropbox and I’d feel them same about Google Drive if I used it. If it ain’t on my Mac, then it ain’t private (the caveat being that private emails are sent with GMail all the time).
But, ask yourself, if you are one of the people worried about user content privacy with Google Drive, what’s the reason behind it? Does Dropbox just engender trust simply by their innocence? Or is it Google?