Did you wake up yesterday and turn on your PC only to find out that every single message in your Gmail account has been inexplicably wiped clean off the face of the virtual world? Well, it seems that there is some consolation to be had: the search giant has been informed of the sudden loss of data and had started an investigation into the issue.
When it comes to free online email services, few can match the functionality and usability of Google's very own free Gmail offering, and for good reason. After all, it was the first free email provider to offer users access to an astronomical (back then) inbox size of 1GB, and did not require users to sign up for a paid account in order to gain access to certain features such as IMAP and POP3 access.
However, it would seem that even the best and most popular free email service suffers from embarrassing outages from time to time, and the latest fiasco which the search giant has found itself caught in is anything but pleasant, especially for the end user. Apparently, a few users found themselves on the short end of the stick when they signed into Gmail on Sunday only to realize that every single message in their account (including the spam and trash folders) has been inexplicably cleaned off without warning.
Needless to say, this has triggered a huge wave of complaints in Google's support forums:
Based on what we have gathered from both independent reports and forum postings in Google's support boards, it would appear that the sudden data loss took place at the early hours of 27 Feb (US time), and that it is more than just an isolated case of compromised accounts, as almost 0.29% of all Gmail users have been affected by the data erasure. Unfortunately, Google has not been very forthcoming about the root cause of the issue, preferring instead to exercise its PR muscles and assure users that the issue is currently being looked into.
Curiously, no mention about the incident was made on the official Gmail blog as well. However, surely one can take some consolation in the fact that a Google employee has already confirmed that the search giant will be 'looking into the issue right now', right?