NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- You'd figure that by now, Google ( GOOG) would know if it were peeking at all our stuff or not. But, sadly, it doesn't. I am one of the tiny fraction of the billions of Google users who actually pays to use Google. My shop is among the 4 million or so firms forking over $5 per user per month for access to Google Apps for Business.
For my firm that adds up to roughly $600 a year. For that, I get Google's never-ending slate of business services, including Docs, Speadsheets and, starting last week, the clearly doomed Google Drive. (That's the online data syncing and back-up service, an attempt to compete with other bound-for-the-woodshed syncing services such as Dropbox, Microsoft ( MSFT) SkyDrive and many, many others.) How to Turn Apple's Stock Into an Income Stream >> As a paying customer, I get things most don't: an 800 number and a PIN ID that gives me the right to pick up the phone and say, "Mountain View, we have a problem." And darned if Google doesn't speak right back. Sure, it's not Larry or Sergey talking. Bright, earnest call-in center folks with names such as Fergal from Ireland and Markku from Montreal usually answer my questions. No question, Google gets a bad rap for bad service -- if you pay, Google is a cordial and professional service provider and much better than, say, Microsoft, Dell ( DELL) or most other enterprise tech vendors. But for my current problem, mere professionalism doesn't seem to be an answer. Starting last week, I began several long conversations with Google about the digital 800-pound gorilla in the room. After five-plus years of happily running a strictly cloud-based Google Apps business, revelations about lost data, dubious terms of service and frankly creepy acts by Google have me spooked. I wanted to know: "Is Google looking at my stuff?" The official non-answers I get -- not once, but over and over -- are emails such as "I will continue to investigate the issue."