Google Docs Is Randomly Flagging Files for Violating Its Terms of Service

Update: 3:21 PM EST: A Google orator reached out around email with a following matter observant that a bug has been fixed: “This morning, we done a formula pull that wrongly flagged a tiny commission of Google Docs as abusive, that caused those papers to be automatically blocked. A repair is in place and all users should have full entrance to their docs. Protecting users from viruses, malware, and other violent calm is executive to user safety. We apologize for a intrusion and will put processes in place to forestall this from function again.”

The strange story follows below:

Google Docs, a collaborative, cloud-based word estimate software, appears to be incidentally flagging files for presumably “violating” Google’s Terms of Service. A member of Motherboard’s team, as good as countless users on Twitter, news that their papers are being sealed for no apparent reason. Once a request is flagged, a owners of that request can no longer share it with other users. Users who have already been common on a request that’s been flagged are kicked out and can no longer entrance it.

When a breeze Motherboard essay was sealed on Monday morning, a summary took over a shade that review “This object has been flagged as inapt and can no longer be shared.” It’s not transparent because this is happening, though it might be a outcome of a glitch in a complement Google uses to guard Google Docs. DownDetector is currently reporting Google Drive problems in a US and Europe, that might be partial of a problem.

When we reached out to Google about a problem, it pronounced it was looking into it. “We’re questioning reports of an emanate with Google Docs. We will yield some-more information when appropriate,” a orator told me in an email.

One Google worker on Twitter, Corrie Davidson, who is a Senior Program Manager during Google according to her LinkedIn profile, also pronounced a Docs group is looking into a issue. The central Google Docs Twitter criticism also tweeted that a intensity bug was being examined.

Google indexes your documents, that is what creates them searchable on Drive. There’s zero specific in a company’s Privacy Policy about either or not it is scanning Google Docs for information over this. we asked Google for information about what it collects about particular files and will refurbish this post if we accept some-more information.

Google’s Privacy Policy States that a “automated systems investigate your calm (including emails) to yield we privately applicable product features, such as customized hunt results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection.”

It’s value observant that until progressing this year, Google review users’ emails in sequence to aim advertisements (the tech was not used on G Suite business accounts). In June, a association announced it would continue to review your messages, though would stop regulating a information it collected to customize ads.

No matter what’s causing a Google Docs bug, a emanate is a impending sign that we don’t unequivocally have control over a calm we put on a internet. The papers we emanate and save on Google Drive are eventually tranquil by Google—even if they can feel like they go to us.

Update 11:55 AM EST: This post has been updated with criticism from Google.

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