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Yes, Google owns you

Well, we haven’t seen this before quite so dramatically

But, honestly, is anyone really surprised?

Nick Saber isn’t happy now. Monday afternoon, after lunch, Nick came back from lunch to find out that he couldn’t get into his Gmail account. Further, he couldn’t get into anything that Google made (beside search) where his account credentials once worked. When attempting to log in, Nick got a single line message:

Sorry, your account has been disabled. [?]

That’s it.

Nick sent a message or three to Google for support. He got back this:

Thank you for your report. We’ve completed our investigation. Because our
investigation was inconclusive, we are unable to return your account at
this time. At Google we take the privacy and security of our users very
seriously. For this reason, we’re unable to reveal any further information
about this account.

And that’s it.

Suddenly, Nick can’t access his Gmail account, can’t open Google Talk (our office IM app), can’t open Picasa where his family pictures are, can’t use his Google Docs, and oh by the way, he paid for additional storage. So, this is a paying customer with no access to the Google empire.

Yes, the tools are shiny. The tools are wonderful and productive and helpful and largely state-of-the-art. But you should have a backup plan – a plan B – if you’re going to use online coolstuff.

We are still crawling towards a set of solutions, but we *are* making progress. We need self-hostable apps. We need continuous export in open formats of our data. We need offsite and redundant copies made of the things we create and generate.

We need OpenLifeBits. And we’re nowhere remotely close.

We need DiSo.

We need Tahoe.

Please hurry.

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  1. Svetlana Gladkova | August 6, 2008 at 2:29 am | Permalink

    This definitely is a scary situation and I can imagine how it may feel like. So I think that the key to safety here is the diversity of service used and ensuring that your plan B is periodically executed – download your emails daily, export your OPML weekly, etc.