A Reddit user Tanglebrook recently discovered that the Android backup for his Nexus 6P was missing from Google Drive. This would not have been the case if Google had notified him. He was not expecting to see his sensitive data gone without his knowledge. The Redditor sent back his phone for a refund and was waiting to find a replacement when Google decided to erase his backup in Google drive. His backup included app data of at least 50 apps, Android settings, and WiFi passwords which he valued the most. Tanglebrook was also paying for 100GB of Google Drive space.
However, a Google support page does mention that you may see an expiration date below your backup folder if you don’t use your device for two weeks. If this time-frame exceeds 2 months, Google will delete the backup. But there is no use seeing this page after you’ve lost your data as there is no way for you to recover your data.
Apple also follows a similar policy, and their support page clearly mentions that “If you don’t back up your iOS device to iCloud for 180 days or more, Apple reserves the right to delete your device’s iCloud backups”.
Google shows no warning about the deletion mechanism when users store a new backup. Google also doesn’t send any email or notification before deleting the backup files. So, if you rely on Google Drive backups, keep an eye on your backup folders. If you have any device backups stored, you can check their expiry date in Google drive.
As an alternative, you can store your sensitive data offline and also use third-party backup & restore apps. Don’t you think Google should notify users on such sensitive issues? Share your thoughts in the comments below.