Google has been phasing out this plan for about a year, which is already frustrating: having known that it would not have continuity, perhaps many clients would have looked for an alternative so as not to have to face such a headache as relocating their files.
What some of those users could not expect is that the situation was going to get much worse.
This is the case of people like Tim Burke, an independent American journalist who had one of these accounts to host his large number of video files. This summer, in July, Google sent him an email telling him that his occupied space exceeded the new storage limit, but that he had a two-month grace period. After that moment, his account would enter reading mode: he could continue accessing his data, but not upload new files until he reduced the space used.
This might not be too much of a problem, beyond an inconvenience, but it became a major setback when another email arrived from Google this month: you have seven days to take all your files before your account is terminated and your files deleted with no way to recover them.
Burke’s case with the FBI taking his devices is an extreme case, but it is easily interchangeable for those of us who are not exposed to that type of problem: a fire, a bad accident or a simple misplacement is enough for us to be left without them and have to entrust ourselves to the copies we have in the cloud. Whoever has them?
There is no need to go to these types of cases. We recently learned thanks to a news story from The New York Times that also talks about how exposed we are to losing all our content in the most stupid way. In that case, a woman received a notification from YouTube informing her that her channel had been deleted, something she did not give importance to because she did not even use YouTube, much less to publish content. The problem was that her entire Google account had been deleted, including the content and access to her email or her photo gallery.
Something not the same, although similar, to what happened in 2020, when Google Photos, after five years of promising unlimited and free image storage, showed the way to check. It is as logical that a cloud storage service wants to charge for its product as it is illogical that a company would propose something like this free indefinitely and then give a headache to millions of users. Or the move that Dropbox made a few months ago. Or the sudden limitations that Drive put in place, complicating some users along the way.
Also similar, although in this case it is different, to what what happened with Amazon Drive. Of course, in this case, Amazon did not change its mind about monetization and simply decided to abandon the service. And giving notice a year and a half in advance.