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Thousands of Gmail accounts wiped

by Sarah Griffiths on 28 February 2011, 11:09

Tags: Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)

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Mail mystery

Tens of thousands of Gmail users have discovered their accounts have been completely deleted and have vented their frustration on message boards, according to reports.

The Daily Mail reported that Google confirmed thousands of Gmail users have lost emails, contact details and calendar information stored on its cloud service, with the first signs of the problem seemingly surfacing on Sunday in the UK.

One user reportedly wrote on a forum: "All my account settings, email, labels, contacts etc has just disappeared,' while another apparently panicked: ‘I have lost ALL on my emails/folders etc from Gmail. Why would this happen? How can I restore everything?'

Google reportedly estimates that some 600,000 Gmail accounts have been affected and has been beavering away trying to fix the problem. While the number of those affected is large, it is worth remembering that Gmail is used by approximately 200m people.

Notable fashion blogger LibertyLondonGirl wrote in a post: "It is clear from the Gmail forums and Twitter that hundreds if not thousands of people have had their Gmail accounts compromised. A firm believer in the concept of cloud computing, it never occurred to me that my Gmail account could one day disappear."

Apparently Google told The Huffington Post that it has fixed the problem for some individuals.

"Our engineers are working as quickly as possible and we hope to have everything back to normal soon. We're very sorry for the inconvenience to our customers," the spokesperson reportedly added.

Google had apparently estimated that 0.23 percent of its Gmail users had been affected by the blip, but has now downgraded its figure to 0.08 percent.

This is reportedly the first time Gmail has accidently deleted lots of user accounts and possibly the last major problem it had was in 2009, when the email service suffered an outage for around 2 and a half hours, forcing Google's VP Ben Treynor to say in a statement:  ‘We're committed to keeping events like today's notable for their rarity.'

HEXUS Forums :: 14 Comments

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The Daily Mail reported

Hardly a reputable news outlet.
Go Google! :)
It's really worrying that companies like Google are trying to sell cloud computing as the future of the internet, and suggest that we needn't be storing data locally any more - yet these kind of cock-ups are still happening on regular intervals.
Exactly the reason why I will not rely on the cloud. Its clear from this that cloud based services from companies of any size should not be 100% relied upon to keep your data safe, secure or backed up. Small companies adopting the cloud should really think of the risk factors!

Gmail should implement a function to backup everything to a PC/Phone etc…
Gmail should implement a function to backup everything to a PC/Phone etc…

Whats stopping you use Outlook or an equivilent? ;)