Google Drive now lets users block other accounts from sharing files with them. This new update is designed to quell any form of harassment and/or spam appearing on Google Drive. The company originally announced the feature in May this year but is only now commencing the rollout.
Google said that the feature would roll out over the next two weeks. Blocked individuals will lose access to any files and folders that you have shared with them in the past. The files shared by blocked users are then removed from the account.
“Drive’s sharing capabilities fuel productivity and collaboration, but bad actors can abuse tools that are meant to facilitate helpful sharing,” Google said in its announcement.
The option to block users will appear when you right-click a shared folder or file on Drive. However, owners will also have the ability to unblock users.
Blocked users cannot contact you over other services like Hangouts or Chats
As The Verge points out, the decision to build this feature came after a report showed how a user couldn’t delete a folder shared with an abusive ex-partner. The sensitive contents of the folder meant that the person was unable to take the conventional “report as abuse” approach.
Taking this into account, the inclusion of this feature has been long-awaited. This new development shows that Google is acknowledging the privacy loopholes that could be exploited. Apart from restricting access to files shared on Google Drive, blocked users are unable to contact you over messaging services such as Chat or Hangouts.
In some other recent news, Google launched ‘Google Drive for Desktop’ to replace ‘Backup and Sync.’ The idea here is to offer a more unified way of interacting with your files and even media using Google Photos. This feature absorbed ‘Drive File Stream’ while phasing out Backup and Sync entirely.
A unified cloud service allows users to switch between multiple accounts with relative ease. Users can upload photos directly onto Google Photos using this service. Users also have the choice to upload the media in either the original resolution or a compressed format. This shows us that Google is taking significant steps towards improving the user experience on Drive.