Google Gmail: Privacy Policy vs. Help Center

Google is not forthcoming with its Gmail users.

A Google Group “Gmail Help Discussion” is discussing a member “ps101” post that “Lost Everything in My account... email, contacts, sent mail..”:

"Found my account clean..nothing in Inbox, contacts ,sent mail..How can all these information residing in different folders disappear? How to write to gmail help team to restore the account..is it possible? Where to report this abuse?"

Member “pronk” posted:

Me too. Sometime during the evening of 12/17. I had a Firefox 2.0 window open on my account.  Indications are that over 100 scripts were running slowly.  I've reported it.  I suspect operator error at Gmail. Will they restore our data from backups? Were we all using FF2?  Has anybody heard anything from them yet? Many reports to gmail support, only robot answers.  Will humans ever intervene?

Both “ps101” and “pronk” underscore they want Google to “restore the account” and “restore our data from backups.”

Google Group members point to a Gmail Help Center FAQ, however, suggesting that Google will not restore the messages that are reported having been deleted from Gmail users accounts unbekownst to them:

Gmail Help Center

If you're not able to locate a message in your Inbox, Sent Mail, All Mail, or Trash, it's been permanently removed from your Gmail account. Unfortunately, we're unable to recover messages or Contact entries that have been deleted from your account.

The Gmail Help Center "we're unable to recover messages or contact entries that have been deleted from your account" does not fully correspond to the information presented in Google's Gmail Privacy Policy:

Gmail Privacy Policy

You may organize or delete your messages through your Gmail account or terminate your account through the Google Account section of Gmail settings. Such deletions or terminations will take immediate effect in your account view. Residual copies of deleted messages and accounts may take up to 60 days to be deleted from our active servers and may remain in our offline backup systems.

Google’s “Residual copies of deleted messages and accounts may take up to 60 days to be deleted from our active servers and may remain in our offline backup systems” pronouncement does not support its “Unfortunately, we're unable to recover messages or Contact entries that have been deleted from your account.”

Google is not forthcoming with its Gmail users.

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