- Jan. 2nd, 2007
- 6 comments
I logged in to Gmail earlier this past December 2006 — only to find that my localization setting was set to Chinese. It took me about 5 minutes to figure out how to get it back to English, mostly because I don't read Chinese!
I assumed it was just a fluke. Maybe my cat walked on the keyboard? My password wasn't particularly strong, but based on what happened, I doubt it has to do with that. The data is just plain missing. But then I noticed something else …
Gmail appears to have eaten 7 days of my email! Some of it was more than vaguely important. No, I wouldn't make something like this up to get attention. Here's a screen shot to document it (taken 4:30AM EST after I changed it back to English):
Notice that really big gap. No, I didn't delete it, and it's not in my trash folder, either. This is not an attack on Google in any way, but I felt this should be blogged as there is no "bug report" selection when you contact them, and not any assurances that I will be contacted back. It may not be an isolated event — other reports of this are here and here.
I contacted Google with all relevant details, but I got a form letter back. They refuse to provide me with logs that document who logged in and whether I was hacked. I decided that because I wasn't entirely sure that I was not hacked that I would not report it. But — more recently, Search Engine Land reports that Google admitted that some email in the same date range was lost — and for some users, all email. They claim they helped all users. Nope. All I got was a bunch of form letters making veiled accusations that my password might have sucked.
From now on I will be forwarding my emails to another location as a backup. It really scares me that this happened. And it bothers me even more that while Google claims to be "reaching out" to people, that I all I got was a form letter email that said I should "keep my password secure." Somehow I doubt that it was "only 60 people," as reported. Somehow I really doubt it.
"6 Wise Comments Banged Out Somewhere On The Internet ..."