In a post on its blog, Google says that whenever a file has been identified as having violated the company’s terms of service or program policies, it might be restricted. This will be shown as a flag next to the filename, and when a file is restricted, users will no longer be able to share it with others. It also retroactively applies this restriction to those who you might have already shared it with.
According to Google, “Now, the owner of the item in Google Drive will receive an email notifying them of the action taken, and alerting them of how to request a review of the restriction if they think it is a mistake. For items in shared drives, the shared drive manager will receive the notification.”
Google notes that this is being done to prevent the abuse of its services, where some people might be using Google Drive to host illegal content like malware, sexually explicit material, and so on. While this is a good thing, there is the question of what happens if your files are restricted by mistake?
Google says on its blog that there will be a system for users to submit a request for review if you feel that a file might have been restricted by mistake, but it is unclear how long such a review could take, which might be a bit troublesome in some situations.