Regular Irreal readers know that I avoid Google and its applications as much as I can. I use DuckDuckGo for web searches, use Org mode for writing and publishing—and when I must, NeoOffice to interact with documents from the unenlightened—and use
mu4e and the Apple Mail.app for email. I still have a gmail account but for years have only used it for mailing lists and now even that has been migrated to
mu4e. Now I only check it once or twice a week to make sure there’s nothing else I should migrate.
Mostly, I’ve eschewed Google because of privacy concerns: I don’t like the idea of Google, or anyone else, mining my documents for private information and selling it to anyone willing to pay. That’s a compelling reason for me to stay away and I’m always surprised when folks I consider otherwise sensible say they use gmail, gcalendar, and google docs.
Now there’s an even better reason to stay away. It’s bad enough that Google is reading through your “private” documents but completely unacceptable to lock your documents when they find something they think they don’t like. As the story at the link reports, these “unacceptable things” are often false positives. Even if they aren’t, mind your own business. You shouldn’t be reading this stuff, Google, but if you are and stumble across something you think is illegal then call the police. Otherwise, as I say, MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.
But really, I don’t feel sorry for the people who are losing their data. At all. Google has proved over and over again that you shouldn’t depend on their apps. If you’re using Google apps for your critical tasks, sooner or later you’re going to get burned. Just ask this guy.