A Google Drive Update Might Break All Your Links

Get ready for an onslaught of permissions requests.

Google Drive across platforms will require updated links after September.
Google Drive across platforms will require updated links after September.
Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo

Now that Google has opened up its business-focused Workspace suite to everyone, there are some new Google Drive features. But as with every move, sometimes things get busted along the way.

Advertisement

Google announced it’s releasing a security update that may affect some Drive files. The links will be updated with a “resource key” that will make them more secure, but will require new file access requests in some situations. Once the update goes live, you can only access certain Drive files via a link with a resource key attached to it.

Per a Google blog:

This security update is being applied to some files in Google Drive to make sharing links more secure. The update will add a resource key to sharing links. Once the update has been applied to a file, users who haven’t viewed the file before will have to use a URL containing the resource key to gain access, and those who have viewed the file before or have direct access will not need the resource key to access the file.

It’s unclear whether both private and public files will be affected by this change. For instance, if you’re a part of a massive file meant for public consumption via Google Docs or Google Forms, it’s unclear if you’ll have access to it when the update is live. I’m part of a Google Doc where someone compiled a massive list of every available Sailor Moon card released by Bandai in the ‘90s. I do hope this news gets to the original owner of that Google spreadsheet!

The update will apply to all Workspace users beginning Sept. 13, and you have until then to update your links. If you’re part of an organization, the migration over to the new link-sharing protocol will rely on your administrator or IT department head, who has until July 23 to apply the update manually. For everyone else, Google will start to send out email notices beginning July 26 about any of your Google Drive files that may be impacted, along with resources on how to update them.

DISCUSSION