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Since I cannot restrict the "Empty Trash" option in Google Drive for my Google Apps users would creating one account that is only used to setup as shared folders in drive work? Can I then give all users an edit option to prevent them from accidentally or maliciously deleting files?

This account would always have the file in its trash, correct? Is there any other way?

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If you own the documents and share it with others, there is no way they will be actually able to delete the files. At the Max they will be able to remove it from their sight.

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