Google Drive is a powerful cloud service for storing files and creating documents. It even has a robust sharing system in place to help you collaborate with friends and colleagues. However, that sharing functionality is a bit too... permissive. It's easy to spam people with shared files and folders, and there's no way you can completely remove them from your account. Now, Google says it's aware of the issue and will implement a fix.
The issue, as pointed out by AP alum Cameron Summerson on How-To Geek, is that you don't have to accept shared content before it appears and removing it doesn't actually remove it. That means someone can send you spam, and it just appears in your Drive directory under the "Shared with you" section and in the quick access list. If you have view-only access to the content, you can't delete it. Annoyingly, the "Remove" option in Drive only hides it from the shared folder. It still appears in searches and quick access if Drive decides it's important.
Following publication, Google clarified to HTG that it's looking at ways to fix Drive's spam problem. Here's the full statement.
For the vast majority of users, the default sharing permissions in Drive work as intended. Unfortunately, this was not the case for this user and we sincerely apologize for her experience. In light of this issue, we are evaluating changes to our spam, abuse, and blocking features that will prevent this kind of activity from taking place on Drive. In the interim, users who are experiencing similar issues can remove themselves from the folder, and the folder should not reappear in either “My Drive” or “Shared with Me” unless they revisit it.
It's unclear what Google plans to do, but a way to simply remove access from shared content completely would be a good first step. Dropbox has something similar, allowing you to remove all traces of shared files from your account. Blocking shares from unknown accounts should be an option in Drive as well. Google doesn't offer any sort of timeline but says the spam issue is a priority.
- How-To Geek