Google Drive locking users out of their documents containing certain numbers
A twitter users flagged a notification from Google Drive regarding takedown of its document having just integer 1 for copyright infringement.
Google Drive is amongst the most widely used cloud storage solutions in the world, with nearly everyone who has a Google account having used it at some point. However, it, like many Google services, is occasionally plagued by amusing problems. Today, we learn about the company’s aversion to specific numbers, which is reflected in Drive’s automatic file moderation function.
According to Dr. Emily Dolson, an assistant professor at Michigan State University, the technology company even reported a text file containing only one number character. Despite the company’s promise that consumers can demand a revision of the document, according to The Register, Google did not provide a means to seek a review of the decision. Google engineer Misha Brukman, on the other hand, responded to Dolson’s Tweet, promising to fix the problem.
Why is that happening in Google Drive ?
Here’s the reason that these figures in violation of Google’s terms of service. As amusing as this may appear, it appears to be a problem with the manner Drive scans for copyrighted content. The takedown notifications themselves state that the files removed are in violation of Drive’s Copyright Infringement policy, yet if you try to view a file after it has been taken down, the website will notify you that it was torn offline for “legal reasons” and that you cannot appeal the decision.
Maybe someone copyrighted a collection of little files containing arbitrary integers at random. It is possible that we will never know. What we do know is that instead of completing its job, a robotic legal removal tool is out there eliminating arbitrary text files with numbers.
Before you try to upload your favourite number to Drive, keep in mind that doing so could land you in much more serious problems, as Google may decide to suspend your account due to multiple violations of its terms of service. Google needs to figure this out because getting banned for submitting random numbers is maybe the lamest basis for a ban possible.