Yesterday we reported on a rather serious sounding issue which affected some gmail users. Google said this was due to a bug in the software, although not as many people as first expected were affected. Approximately only 0.02 percent of all Gmail users experienced the issue which wiped all their emails, translating to around 38,000 people.
Google spokeswoman Jessica Kositz said that those people with the problem will have their accounts restored by the end of the day. Google engineers are still trying to ascertain what happened Kositz said, adding that the company plans to detail what went wrong later this week.
Kositz said: “Unfortunately, this was a bug on our side, but what we saw was that this involved a really small percentage of our users, we keep everything on backup. We’re taking this seriously, and we’re working as quickly as possible.”
Yesterday, many Gmail users were on Twitter complaining about lost emails and address books being wiped – many long term users were even greeted with a ‘welcome’ message, as if this was the first time their accounts were being set up.
Many users have downloaded a service called Backupify which offers full backup support for cloud based data apps such as Facebook and Gmail. Backupify offers a wide range of services which can cost between $5 and $20 a month, but the basic options are free. There are other services offering similar backup ideas, such as Mozy and Carbonite.
Analysts are saying that this issue is a good ‘wake up call’ to those people who rely on cloud services and who feel that all their information is perfectly safe online, from anywhere.
Cindy Cohn, legal director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said “We think of cloud computing as a bunch of clouds – they’re fluffy and white, but it’s actually other people’s computers, and other people’s computers can go down. By calling it cloud computing, people are really not understanding what’s going on and are therefore making assumptions about the safety and security of their information. It used to be that you would dial up to your Internet service provider, and you would download all your e-mails onto your computer. The only e-mails you didn’t have were the ones you didn’t pick up.”
KitGuru says: an offline backup in future? we think many people will start adopting a safer plan.