On Friday afternoon East Coast Time by surprise, I was completely shut down in all my Google accounts (all of my gmail accounts, blog, all of my university pages that were on google sites, etc.) for no reason and no warning.
Mehta received a form letter from Google saying that he had violated its terms of service.
1. If I search the terms of service for “terminate account,” I only find a reference to copyright infringement and “repeat infringers.” Otherwise, the terms of service do not appear to list any specific reasons for terminating someone’s account. What other offenses, if any, can lead Google to terminate accounts?
2. What is Google’s policy with respect to giving warnings prior to terminating accounts?
3. Google’s terms of service state that
We believe that you own your data and preserving your access to such data is important. If we discontinue a Service, where reasonably possible, we will give you reasonable advance notice and a chance to get information out of that Service.
I guess this refers to Google generically terminating a service for everyone, as they did with their blog newsreader. But what happens when an account is terminated? Does the individual have any way of recovering old blog posts, emails, and email contact lists?
[UPDATE] 4. As usual, I schedule posts in advance, and in the interim professor Mehta’s accounts have been restored. That raises the question of what prompted this decision (and the other three questions still remain unanswered).