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The Downside of Relying on Google for Everything

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Oh, Google is just so great! They have the best free email, calendar, chat, photo and document sharing services, so why not use them all? Well, here's why: they can lock you out of your entire account without any explanation or any way to get it back, pretty much erasing your online existence. It happened to Nick Saber. Nick came back from his lunch break on Monday, tried to log into his Gmail account, and got the following message: "Sorry, your account has been disabled." When he emailed Google to find out what in the hell was going on, he got this less-than-promising reply:

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 this is a paying Google customer; Nick has paid for extra space on his accounts. Scary. Eventually, after a few hours of hassles, he ended up getting his access back. But still, maybe you shouldn't delete that old Hotmail account just yet. [Chris Brogan via Boing Boing]