Google blacklisted me
Last night at 7:05PM PST, I was logged out of Google chat, Gmail, Google+ and every other Google service. Of course dealing with Google is impossible, so I need you to help me make some noise!
Welcome to the future: where one company can shut you out, for any reason, without notice or any appeal process.
Hi. We don’t talk a lot, but I’ve interacted with many of you via email or chat over the last several years. Plus, I maintain a useful jQuery plugin, which is likely the reason you’re on this site right now.
Last night at 7:05PM PST, I was logged out of Google chat, Gmail, Google+ and every other Google service. Any attempts to log in are followed by this screen:
Now, I am not aware of any breach of Terms of Service. Certainly I have not done anything on my account recently that is out of line with anything I’ve done with it in the years prior.
It would seem that the most likely scenario is that somehow my account was compromised. I do use a unique, fairly complex random password for Google. I am not aware of any method by which someone could obtain this password. However, nothing is impossible.
The problem is: I apparently have zero recourse once my account is disabled. Google will not tell me why. There is no one I can call. I can’t even post on the Google Support Forums because it requires me to log in first! Even the “account recovery” process won’t allow me to continue, it just says the account is disabled.
Clearly, this situation highlights a critical problem with reliance on Google (or any other single company, for that matter). I had thought about this in theory, but did not expect to find myself mired in such a predicament. There will be remedies, as I now know that Google can no longer be trusted. However, I’d like to get my account access back at least.
Update: 23 hours later, my account is restored. It took contacting a Google employee, who said he escalated it (“that’s all I can do”), but then graciously replied back saying it should be working. And it is. So that is a +1 for Google’s employees and dealing with the issue, which I assumed all along to be some sort of legitimate mistake. He said he was “not sure what happened.” So, no explanation from the monolithic Google in the cloud. No indication in my account of any compromise. So, I still extend a word of caution based on my experience. I will definitely be mulling what to do with my email, that is safe…