Published: 24th July 2021
You can now block people from adding you onto files in Drive; Google's new feature aims to prevent online harassment
The feature, which is rolling out over the next two weeks, also stops accounts from accessing any files you have shared with them in the past and removes any of their past files from your drive
Tech giant Google officially announced that it is rolling out a new feature to block people in Google Drive. In May, the company had said that it will roll out a solution that will address the issue of spam on Google Drive. As per The Verge, Google Drive is now adding the ability for users to block other accounts from sharing files with them, in a move that is designed to prevent potential harassment and spam on the platform.
The feature, which is rolling out over the next two weeks, also stops accounts from accessing any files you have shared with them in the past and removes any of their past files from your drive. According to Google's support page, the option to block a user will appear if you right-click a file that they have shared with you in Drive. There is also an option to unblock users later if you change your mind.
"Drive's sharing capabilities fuel productivity and collaboration, but bad actors can abuse tools that are meant to facilitate helpful sharing," Google's announcement post said. "That's why we are creating a way to block other users," the announcement continued. Blocking an account in Drive will also prevent them from interacting with you across other Google services like Hangouts and Chat.
The search giant had announced the upcoming feature in May. It came after a report from a news outlet highlighted an instance where a user was unable to remove a shared folder from an abusive ex-partner from their Drive. Because the folder contained innocuous photographs, Drive's existing "report as abuse" feature wasn't an appropriate response, and the service's design made it difficult to permanently remove the files otherwise.
It is an important admission that sharing features can easily be abused by bad actors, even when they are a part of a service that is not a traditional social network. The new feature is available for both Google Workspace customers and personal account holders.