Google today published a comprehensive white paper explaining how it deals with users’ requests to remove data from its cloud platform. The company also now shows which processes it goes through to actually delete the data.

Product manager Eric Chiang writes in a blog post that data deletion must be balanced to ensure that it is deleted safely and efficiently without impacting his cloud services. This is sometimes quite complicated, because data can be stored in more than one place.

Stored worldwide

Chiang writes that all data on the Google Cloud Platform, if not used, is encrypted. In addition, they are put on active systems, as well as backup servers, in case things go wrong. In this way, Google prevents data from being lost and ensures that data remains accessible.

Copies of your data can be stored locally, regionally and even globally, on active and backup storage systems, depending on the geographical boundaries you specify, he writes. As a result, deleting data on the Google Cloud is not always easy and depends on what kind of data needs to be deleted.

Relatively simple

From a user’s perspective, this process is relatively simple. It only needs to remove what needs to be removed, after which it immediately looks as if the data is gone. But in reality, some GCP servers will continue to store certain data. This is due to the logistical problems that require many processes to be gone through in order to delete data everywhere.

At the same time, this decision was taken to ensure that users could possibly reverse their choice to delete data. It takes two months to remove data from an active server and six months to remove it from backup systems.

Google also ensures that data that is removed from hard drives actually disappears by writing off and destroying the servers at a certain point in time. Below is a video in which it explains things again:

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.