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.
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.
If he was doing something wrong/illegal/invalid, they might’ve said so (not thinking that he was). If he had been hacked, wouldn’t that be something vaguely apparent? I dunno, but it seems like that’d be the way.
Trust no-one may be a bit extreme but placing all your trust in one provider should be recognized a singularly (pun intended) risky affair. The larger Google gets the more they weave together the previously separated parts of the web into a single connected whole – with one key to fit everywhere.