27 September 2012

Google cuts gmail for youngsters

My friends daughter is eleven years old and Google has closed down access to her email.
Without any warning she loses all stored emails and contacts. 
She has 30 days to prove she is at least twelve years old (which she isn't) before all gmail contents will be permanently removed.
The only thing my friend can do is lie about her age. He has to do this by making a $0.3 credit card payment to Google to prove the lie has been told by someone who is old enough to own a credit card.

Google has been pushing users to convert their Google accounts to Google+ accouonts.
But privacy restrictions for social accounts are much stricter for children.
So now Google is kicking all children who have converted to Google+ out.

This experience shows that free Google services come without any guarantee and Google can decide to throw away all your work  at any time.
We have seen this in the past with other free Google services

  • Google apps: I had to give my credit card number when i signed up for the free Google Apps. When it became paying my application was below the paying limits, still Google started taking small amonts from my credit card. Without any justification, invoice or contact person I could turn to for an explanation. In the end I had to get a new credit to make this stop.
  • iGoogle retirement