Google Reneges on Data Storage Promise, Provides Impossibly Short Deadline

Timothy Burke posted this on Bluesky four days ago:

So I paid Google a lot of money for a long time for a plan that included unlimited storage. They then unilaterally ended that plan, but assured me my data would remain safe — just in read-only mode. Today they informed me I have seven days to move the entire archive offsite. It’s 150 TB.

Correction, I miscalculated. It’s 237.22 TB. My life’s work. And I have seven days to find somewhere else to put it.

Mike Masnick, Techdirt:

As Tim notes, this is his life’s work. And even if he had access to ~250 TBs of free storage, it’s not even clear he’d be able to transfer that much data in just seven days.


And, yes, some people have asked why Tim doesn’t have other backups around, but (again) the FBI took all of his shit. And finding (and paying for) multiple backup services that can handle 250 TBs of data is likely pretty cost prohibitive.

Blaming people for not having local copies of everything is such a lazy slight. Google markets Drive as a “secure place” to “use less of your PC/Mac disk space” by keeping files only in the cloud. After all, is that not the point of cloud storage? The software encourages us to go beyond just synchronizing our files between computers and entrust it as an extension of our local storage, so of course people are generally going to treat it as just another disk.

In Burke’s case, it is even worse because it is completely reasonable not to place personal limitations on storage marketed as “unlimited” and, now, is likely impossible to download a local copy in a preposterously short timeframe.

If you search the web or Google’s forums, you will find other stories of users consuming large amounts of Google Drive space suddenly being told they must delete files. It is an unfair bait-and-switch. These are certainly a minority of users and are extreme in their data requirements, but it seems impossible that Google would not consider that this would happen — that is to say Google did, in all likelihood, recognize that some people would take up dozens of terabytes of cloud storage when offered the opportunity, and the company either did not have a plan or, worse, its plan was to shut off unlimited access and tell people to delete stuff. Either way, it is an obviously disruptive broken promise that, like recent Drive data loss, should impact trust in Google more than it will.