Anger as some Google cloud customers locked out of files

Google Drive users have reacted angrily to a glitch leaving some unable to access files from the last six months.

Google said it was investigating the issue which is affecting some users of its hugely popular cloud storage service.

The problem was first reported on 22 November by a user who said their Drive had reset to a May 2023 version.

It is not known how many customers are affected, but people in multiple countries have reported problems.

Drive is part of Google Workspace, a suite of applications which has more than three billion users worldwide.

Users reacted angrily on Google’s support site, with one calling it “very devastating”, adding “the files are very important to me”.

Others said they had lost files from recent months – and wrote of the stress it was causing them.

“This is crazy and not a dependable cloud service,” one commented. “In a panic!” they added.

Another posted: “I pay for this service every month and will pursue legal action if needed. Unacceptable and highly aggravating.”

More updates

The original poster, who was using Drive for Desktop on Windows, says none of the fixes suggested by Google so far have worked.

In their post on the forum, Google said they were investigating the reports and would “follow up with more updates”.

They suggest that people do not disconnect their account in the Drive for desktop app, and do not delete or move the app data folder.

They also recommend making a copy of the folder, if users are able to.

Enza Ianopollo, a data privacy expert at analyst firm Forrester, said the situation was a “big deal” for Google.

She said it was “very, very necessary” for the tech giant to give users a full explanation of what had happened.

“Not just in terms of ‘wait, your data will appear back,’ but really understanding what happened to the data”, she told the BBC.

Ms Ianopollo said business customers in particular would need to know exactly when and if their files had been accessed or altered – because it would be them rather than Google who would be liable for any data loss.

The BBC has contacted Google for comment.

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