Comparing Skydrive and Google Drive's privacy policy

Two new cloud storage services were unveiled this week and when you store your information in the cloud, one issue comes to mind, privacy.

Google Drive and Skydrive are both backed by massive corporations who would love to have you store your information on their platters. If you are already in one ecosystem such as Gmail, Google Docs, Android, and Google+, it would make sense to then use Google Drive. Likewise, if you use Hotmail/Live, Windows Phone, Xbox and have a Windows PC, Skydrive would seem like a natural choice as well.

But, no matter which service you choose, make sure to check them out completely, including their TOS.  There is a notable difference between the two services and we have posted below a critical component of each platforms stance regarding your content.

Here is Microsoft’s stance on your content:

5. Your content

Except for material that we license to you, we don't claim ownership of the content you provide on the service. Your content remains your content. We also don't control, verify, or endorse the content that you and others make available on the service.

You control who may access your content. If you share content in public areas of the service or in shared areas available to others you've chosen, then you agree that anyone you've shared content with may use that content. When you give others access to your content on the service, you grant them free, nonexclusive permission to use, reproduce, distribute, display, transmit, and communicate to the public the content solely in connection with the service and other products and services made available by Microsoft. If you don't want others to have those rights, don't use the service to share your content.

You understand that Microsoft may need, and you hereby grant Microsoft the right, to use, modify, adapt, reproduce, distribute, and display content posted on the service solely to the extent necessary to provide the service.

Please respect the rights of artists, inventors, and creators. Content may be protected by copyright. People appearing in content may have a right to control the use of their image. If you share content on the service in a way that infringes others' copyrights, other intellectual property rights, or privacy rights, you're breaching this contract. You represent and warrant that you have all the rights necessary for you to grant the rights in this section and the use of the content doesn't violate any law. We won't pay you for your content. We may refuse to publish your content for any or no reason. We may remove your content from the service at any time if you breach this contract or if we cancel or suspend the service.

Posted below are Google’s terms of service for its Cloud storage:

Your Content in our Services

Some of our Services allow you to submit content. You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in that content. In short, what belongs to you stays yours.

When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content. The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones. This license continues even if you stop using our Services (for example, for a business listing you have added to Google Maps). Some Services may offer you ways to access and remove content that has been provided to that Service. Also, in some of our Services, there are terms or settings that narrow the scope of our use of the content submitted in those Services. Make sure you have the necessary rights to grant us this license for any content that you submit to our Services.

There is one notable difference, with Skydrive, Microsoft will only use your content "solely to the extent necessary to provide the service" which means that it is used to maintain the product, not for advertising purposes.  When you upload your content to Google, you are giving them access to use your work however they see fit. It should be noted that neither service is claiming ownership of your content. 

It is a small but notable difference. Google already uses your content in many ways to deliver targeted advertising and Microsoft has a position of letting you decide what to do with your content. Which is best for you? That's a personal decision.

Skydrive TOS | Google Drive TOS

Hat tip to TwoDigitIQ for pointing this out!

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