Google Drive doesn’t really delete your files even after you delete them

Yesterday my dad accidentally deleted some important files from his Google Drive account, even from the bin. So we gave it try to contact the Google support to restore these files having no hope to succeed. Yet it worked, we restored them, which was really great, and he was happy about it.

Although what came to my mind is the issue of privacy. It seems we don’t really own the data once we upload it to the Google servers. So obviously you are not able to get rid of your files without leaving a trace. It means that Google or basically any 3rd party such as government officials or police can nevertheless restore and access the files you thought you had deleted as they are still stored on the Google servers.

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1 comment
Dmytro Bohachevskyy 1 y

Most of the modern databases don’t delete your data when you request to delete them. They are making them not alive.

There is a rule to keep data for some time. Just in case data was deleted accidentally you would have an option to restore it. Like in case with you dad.

It all depends on product. But in general you can think that something posted online will be there forever.

Volodymyr Vasylyna 1 y

It’s just that nobody is thinking about it by default when deciding on deleting their data. Most probably the entire process is clearly and openly described in the Terms of Use for Google Drive (and any other cloud service). But a regular user is never aware about the practice to store files a little longer after they are formally deleted.

Additionally, I presume data might not ever be deleted. There is no simple way to check it and prove otherwise.