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Google's Sketchy Cloud

Many of you love the cloud and have moved apps and data over. Others are skeptical and curious, which may be why you read this newsletter and blog.

For enterprises, the cloud can be safe if you have the right provider, the right contract provisions, and the right backup and recovery strategy. (Recovery is a lot harder than backup, eh what?) For individuals, the cloud is still a risky thing -- just ask the man who calls himself Thomas Monopoly.

Tom M. trusted Google so much that he moved nearly his entire online/computing life to the Google cloud. Eleven days ago, the automated systems at Google concluded that Tom had violated their terms and conditions.

Instead of a human contacting Tom, a Google robot computer not only shut down Tom's account but purged all the data. We're talking messages, his e-mail address, student records, voicemail, banking data, bookmarks, shared documents, contacts, his calendar, nearly 5,000 videos and pictures, and articles. Oh, and his Web site, for which he paid Google, also went the way of the dodo.

Upset, Tom for weeks had been unable to talk to a real Google person. Finally, he talked to a real human at Google who went to bat for him, but the response was basically that Tom's account was closed and, therefore, so was his case. See ya.

Tom, as far as I know, remains in cloud limbo. Does this scare the bejeepers out of you? Yeses and nos readily accepted at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 07/26/2011 at 12:47 PM


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