When it comes to cloud storage, most users expect providers to be infallible. You upload your data, and it stays there. Safe and secure. Forever. However, even the mighty Google is not immune to glitches, as many users have reported the loss of data they have uploaded to Google Drive.
Last week, a user reported the loss of Google Drive files on Google's support forum (via Bleeping Computer). At the time of writing, there were 347 users saying 'I have the same question'. The thread describes situations where data had vanished to as far back as May 2023. Some users have paid accounts, while others report the loss of business data.
Subsequent attempts at recovery failed. Google is investigating, with a Google employee advising users not to disconnect an account from within Drive for desktop or delete or move the app data folder.
The root cause of the issue is publicly unknown, but for now, the obvious recommendation is to backup your files locally or use an alternate provider in the meantime.
What this does do is highlight is the importance of managing your data appropriately, and never relying on one solution for your backups. If it can happen to Google, it can happen to anyone. Data stored in the cloud might be 99.999% safe until the end of time, but that number can never be 100%.
On a personal note, back in the dark ages, I used to work in a computer shop. A young couple came in one day with their PC and asked us to recover their wedding photos. Of course, the hard drive was dead, and we pointed them to a data recovery service. Still, the young lady was in tears at the thought of losing such important photos. I never found out if they got those photos back, but it drilled into my head the need to backup critical data. Whether it's to a USB drive or two, an external hard drive, the cloud, NAS, or even CDs and DVDs, you can never be too careful.