Don't trust Google with your data

We blindly give Google our data -- email, calendar, search history, and so on. What happens when Google refuses to give it back? Angst.

DonÂ’t trust Google with your data

We blindly give Google our data -- email, calendar, bookmarks, search history, and so on. What happens when Google refuses to give it back? Angst.

Chris Brogan tells this sad tale of woe:

Nick Saber 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.

No, Google, that's not it. Somewhere, deep inside the bowels of Google-land, something went wrong and an innocent person suffers the loss of his data. This is serious failure!

ZDNet colleague, Phil Wainewright, reflects on the larger problem of trust in the age of early-stage cloud computing:

One point the story highlights is a hard lesson for users: Don’t trust the cloud at this early stage in its evolution.

Ouch -- especially coming from a guy who spends his days working with SaaS companies. Phil's concluding comments focus on the human side of failure:

Automation is all very well but at the end of the day, the on-demand business is governed by the human emotion of trust.

As always, failed IT is about human, rather than technical, systems. Do you trust Google with your data today?

Update 7/8/08: Google got back to Nik.

[Via Techmeme. Angst image via nanobeepers.com]

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