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Google Guarantees Limitless Cloud Storage; Then Cancels Plan; Then Tells Journalist His Life’s Work Will Be Deleted With out Sufficient Time To Switch The Knowledge

Google Guarantees Limitless Cloud Storage; Then Cancels Plan; Then Tells Journalist His Life’s Work Will Be Deleted With out Sufficient Time To Switch The Knowledge

2023-12-13 08:15:50

from the how-do-you-trust-a-company-that-can-delete-your-life’s-work? dept

Over a decade in the past, I identified that as Google stored attempting to worm its manner deeper into our lives, a key Achilles’ heel was its principally non-existent customer support and unwillingness to ever interact constructively with customers the corporate fucks over. On the time, I dubbed it Google’s “big, faceless, white monolith” drawback, as a result of that’s the way it seems to many purchasers. Going all the way in which again to 2009, I had instructed that the corporate wanted not simply higher buyer assist, however one thing like a user advocate.

This concern exhibits up time and time again. The corporate screws folks over and customarily there’s nobody to speak to. Too unhealthy. Discuss to the white monolith. We’ve faced it ourselves right here at Techdirt.

And, in fact, in conditions the place somebody’s full Google account is taken down, and the place there’s little to no recourse, it may possibly actually fuck folks over. Final 12 months, we wrote about a NY Instances story by Kashmir Hill concerning a parent who not only lost his entire Google account, but additionally was flagged for passing round baby sexual abuse materials (CSAM), after a medical skilled had requested the daddy to take images of his son relating to swelling. Regardless of flagging him as a possible legal, he couldn’t even discuss to anybody at Google to elucidate what occurred.

Hill only in the near past published another such story, relating to a girl shedding her whole Google account after one in all her 7 12 months outdated sons, messing round with a digicam and importing the movies to YouTube, printed a video of himself bare. For apparent causes, that’s an issue, and the video was taken down rapidly, however Google shut down the girl’s whole Google account and mentioned it could be deleted.

Nevertheless it’s not simply points relating to CSAM which are creating these sorts of points.

We’ve written a number of occasions about unbiased journalist Tim Burke. Earlier this 12 months, the FBI raided his home and seized all of his electronic devices after he had obtained and printed some leaked video footage from Fox Information. As we famous, this appeared like a reasonably large 1st Modification concern. Burke can be facing bogus CFAA costs as a result of he was capable of entry the footage through the use of publicly accessible URLs to acquire the content material.

However, with all of his gadgets seized, Burke not less than nonetheless had Google Cloud to maintain the entire large troves of (largely video) information he’s collected over the previous few years of reporting. Burke mentioned he paid Google “some huge cash for a very long time” for an “limitless” cloud storage account. This was a plan that was supplied to Google “Enterprise” Workspace clients for some time. Nevertheless, within the final 12 months or so, they simply phased out that plan, which actually sucked for many who had a ton of knowledge.


As you may see from the above electronic mail, they informed those that had previously used a ton of storage on their limitless plan, that their account would go into “read-only” mode and so they wouldn’t be allowed to add any extra information. Tim Burke and his 237.22 TB of video recordsdata had been amongst these put into learn solely mode, which he assumed meant that, not less than, that content material can be stored protected (hopefully till he may get the feds to return all of his laptop gear).

As a substitute, over the weekend, Google reached out to say that since he’s utilizing an excessive amount of storage, they’re going to delete his whole account in seven days (later this week).


That electronic mail positive isn’t refined:

Your Google Workspace Enterprise Customary to your account has been scheduled for suspension and can quickly be canceled, and your information will probably be misplaced.

As Tim notes, that is his life’s work. And even when he had entry to ~250 TBs of free storage, it’s not even clear he’d be capable to switch that a lot information in simply seven days.

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However, in fact, Google has it’s large monolith drawback. There’s nobody to talk to. You’re simply coping with the machine.

That appears… unhealthy?

And, sure, some folks have requested why Tim doesn’t produce other backups round, however (once more) the FBI took all of his shit. And discovering (and paying for) a number of backup companies that may deal with 250 TBs of knowledge is probably going fairly price prohibitive.

One hopes that some human at Google would possibly lastly understand how unhealthy that is and provides Tim the time he wants to seek out one other dwelling for the information (or simply give him again the plan he initially paid for, or not less than let him retailer the present information there as instructed within the earlier electronic mail).

Filed Below: cloud backup, customer service, data backup, tim burke, unlimited, white monolith

Corporations: google

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