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Google export for Google Expats and for everyone

Chris Brogan recounts the scary tale of Nick Saber getting locked out of his Google accounts for no apparent reason. Did I say “his” accounts? That’s just the problem. Technically, all your accounts are belong to Google.

I am heavily invested in Google as a user (although totally not invested as a shareholder…maybe I got that backwards). A lockout would be a disaster for me. If Google wants us to love it enough that we’ll unite our data in holy matrimony, Google really really needs a way to let us regain and re-own our data. All of it all at once. A big red “Export up everything onto my hard disk button” would be great, although I understand that Google doesn’t want me re-downloading 800,000 emails every night. Some reasonable limits would be reasonable. Even authorizing a third party or two to mirror data for those of us who choose to subscribe to that service would give us some measure of reassurance.

If it’s going to be ’til death do us part, Google should not be allowed to decide exactly when it thinks we’re dead.

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6 Responses to “Google export for Google Expats and for everyone”

  1. Till you are wed, I suggest keeping a few other options going!

    What other area of life would you recommend putting all eggs into 1 basket?

    I suggest backing up everything on your own drives at least (I use Thunderbird to keep copies of all my emails) and pref on a backup somewhere too.

  2. I hadn’t really thought a whole lot about it till this morning, but if I got locked out of google that would be a massive loss, of data, files, history…

    Will be looking into options for backing up the whole thing

  3. You’ve reminded me of a story about my grandfather and me. One day, I’m at the video store in Augusta, Maine, and I’m trying to rent horror movies or something using my grandfather’s lifetime account. The person behind the counter says that the account has expired.

    I call my grandfather, and say, “they’ve canceled your lifetime account.”


    “That’s strange,” he replies. “I feel perfectly fine.”

  4. I wrote this quickly while in a Net cafe, and wished I’d had a bigger cup of coffee so I could have let it sit. If nothing else, I’d like to amend the last line, the one that says “Google shouldn’t be allowed…” It totally should be allowed to do what it’s doing. But it should still give us some easy way to get a copy of all of our data.

  5. And by the way, Google responded as to WHY they did all this:

  6. Precisely the reason my reaction to what is effectively the GoogleOS was “why would anyone want to do this with their stuff?”

    Tell you what, David. Why don’t you give me all your financial information, and I promise, cross-my-heart-and-swear-not-to-do-evil, that I’ll make it available to you whenever and wherever you are, and protect it, and…. oops…..

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