Sunday, July 1, 2012

Google - Indefinite Storage

Just posted a question on Google Chat discussion forum:

The question I have doesn't fit into any category. I have looked at multiple questions on this subjects but have received no definitive answers.

Q: For all Google products, how long will your data be stored? 

I am looking for a table of some sort giving different data storage durations for each product Google offers. 
For example I am using (and have stored information on) Google+, Gmail, Analytics, Drive, YouTube, Maps, Play, Web manager Tools, ... (30+ services). So it could look something like this:

Service              Storage Duration
Google+            Until account is deleted
Gmail                 Up to 40 years of inactivity 
Analytics            Up to 10 years of inactivity

In line with this same question, if a storage duration is "until your account is deleted" could it also be said this way: " Until account is deleted, Google no longer exists, or (if the first two don't happen) for all of eternity"
I have never heard of a company keeping peoples information around indefinitely, but all of the posts I have seen on the subject have pretty much said this. If Google does keep your account with its records around forever, they should definitely be advertising this. Think about it, if I stored my sequenced DNA, a full neural mapping of my brain (still in development), and several full body scans, I could be completely recreated in the future (still in development). By Google storing all your information indefinitely they don't just help future generation understand you better, THEY TURN YOU INTO A GOD! You (the information that makes up who you are) could exist forever!

The one hitch in this eternal existence involves storing data that requires software retrieval. But it is a problem that Google has already solved. Google automatically updates the software in such a way that the original data can always be retrieved (at least they do for native Google Drive documents). 

The only indication I have that Google does not do this is with their failed products (Google Buzz). For failed products they give users a warning to get their information off of the discontinued product. However, I have never seen Google do this for successful products before.