Friday, 25 February 2022

Google drive security update

In August 2021, Google quietly announced a security update. A security update was to be applied which would "make Google Drive files more secure by updating their links to include a resource key and may lead to some new file access requests" (August 2021). 

I host some files on my blog in my Google Drive. I definitely do not want to have to be faffing around with giving everyone who asks a key so they can get access: the whole point of having a separate drive area for downloads and links on my blog was so I didn't have to respond to requests. That would just be a flaming nuisance!

This Google 'security' update was to be applied unilaterally across all personal accounts, and Family Link accounts. While we could 'turn off' this unasked for security update for a personal account, Family Link accounts did not have that flexibility. All files affected would be auto-encrypted, and all those with whom the file was being shared would need a key to access the file.  

At least if we have a personal account, we can turn this off relatively easily. All we need to do is:

  1. In our browser, navigate to https://drive.google.com/
  2. At the top of the page we will find the security update banner. Click See files
  3. If we only have a single drive, we will see all the files which are about to have the 'resource key' protocol applied
  4. All we need to do now is to click "Remove security update" in blue from the end of each line item (and if we have multiple Google drives with impacted files, we will need to click on each drive, one by one and do the same)

It is a bit of an imposition that Google tells us how safe we need to be instead of letting us decide whether we want to opt in. I find it patronising.

But at least we can turn it off.


Sam

  • Reference: Google Drive Help (August 2021). Security update for Google Drive. https://support.google.com/drive/answer/10729743?p=update_drives_user&visit_id=637653938463207608-4271302110&rd=1#zippy=%2Cwhat-happens-if-i-dont-apply-the-security-update-to-my-files

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