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Skydrive misery:private files monitored, Xbox and mail access revoked

Posted 18 July 2012 22:49 CET by Jan Willem Aldershoff

While Microsoft is moving to the cloud with Office 2013, Windows Phone and Windows 8, the dependency on cloud services means less control over your own data. While companies ask you to trust them with your files, they are in charge. This became terribly obvious for user ‘WingsOfFury’ on the Dutch forum Tweakers.net. As a Windows Phone user he depends on a Windows Live account (required) which gives him access to Hotmail, Skydrive and the Windows Phone market, and all of a sudden he couldn’t login to his Windows Live account anymore.

After some investigation he found out that his account was blocked, preventing him from e-mailing from his phone,  access to his files on his Skydrive account, downloading applications in the market and he also couldn’t login to Xbox Live account, which also renders his achievements useless.

After contact with Microsoft support he found out that his account was blocked because there was a 9 Gigabyte folder on his Skydrive that contained content which was not allowed by the code of conduct of Microsoft Skydrive. Interestingly the folder was a private folder, not shared to ayone else. The same data was also on a private folder on Dropbox, from which the user never received a complaint

The Microsoft Skydrive EULA states the following:  “Except for material that we license to you, we don’t claim ownership of the content you provide on the service. Your content remains your content. We also don’t control, verify, or endorse the content that you and others make available on the service,” and the EULA goes on to say “We may cancel or suspend your service and your access to the Windows Live ID network at any time without notice and for any reason”.

Besides the EULA, Microsoft has a Windows Live code of conduct which seems to cover a wide range of content that is not allowed and it seems user ‘WingOfFury’ was violating it. When you’re not aware of this rule or just break it, you’re on your own. As Microsoft states in their EULA: “We may cancel or suspend your service and your access to the Windows Live ID network at any time without notice and for any reason.If your service is suspended or canceled, we may permanently delete your data from our servers. We have no obligation to return data to you after the service is suspended or canceled. If data is stored with an expiration date, we may also delete the data as of that date. Data that is deleted may be irretrievable.”

And this is what happened. For having a file in a private Skydrive folder, that is possibly against the rule of conduct of Microsoft (probably detected by an automated process), he lost his mail account,  access to the Windows Phone market,  Xbox live achievements and the files on his Skdrive. And the access was not reinstated, even when offered to just delete all files from the Skydrive account, or just terminating this service. A Microsoft Webcare employee also stepped into the discussion, but suddenly disappeared from the thread after promising to investigate, after 2 months, no answers…

And user ‘WingsOfFury’? He created a new account to use his Phone and Xbox again, he won’t use Skydrive ever again.

Click to Spread the word on Reddit, so everyone becomes aware of the disadvantages of these kind of services.

Morpheus Phreak
MyCE Rookie
Posted on: 19 Jul 12 01:23
Microsoft has real people that verify offensive content before taking action.

This is first hand knowledge gained via employment.
0 Agree

TheDiggler
MyCE Junior Member
Posted on: 19 Jul 12 03:21
To companies contemplating moving some or all of their IT infrastructure onto Azure be warned.
0 Agree

ChristineBCW
MyCE Die Hard
Posted on: 19 Jul 12 10:13
Yes, I suppose when Bill Gates buys that suitcase-Nuke, I'll make sure he doesn't send me the PDF of the invoice to my Skydrive. "Get a 44-cent stamp, Bill... that's good enough..."

Of course, I'd say "every cloud has that lead-lining, too". We'll end up like zebras - some synthetic hope based on vast numbers and hope we can slip thru because our stripes are confusing in vast quantities. Of course, it's amazing what someone can slip thru if they create a few typos here or there-!
0 Agree

AllanDeGroot
MyCE Resident
Posted on: 25 Jul 12 21:54
And as stories like this circulate people will take their data HOME to a physical drive and tell compaines like skydrive exactly what bodily orifice they should shove their servers to ensure they are never again exposed to daylight.

I know the web adress of Newegg.com and that I prefer WD drives so selling me a "cloud service" sounds too much like trying to blow smoke up my bodily orifice.

I tend to react unpleasantly to the suggestion that I'm the sort of idiotic sucker that would go for that.
0 Agree

nthkmf
New Member
Posted on: 04 Aug 12 20:27
My Skydrive is still OK
0 Agree

Belfastchild1974
New Member
Posted on: 07 Dec 12 13:00
An important thing to keep in mind with situations like this is that a SkyDrive does not get closed for nothing, and in most cases, you can simply contact Microsoft and they will reopen it and enable to remove material that violates the code of conduct. If they won't reenable it, you probably have put something on it that breaks the law or can be used by child-predators and can get Microsoft in trouble for giving access back.
0 Agree

AllanDeGroot
MyCE Resident
Posted on: 07 Dec 12 18:23
The point is not that they can "turn it off"
The point is not if you've done something that justifies them turning it off

The point is there is no warning,
No explanation of what you've done wrong
and no recovery for any data lost from them doing so.

They feel they have the right to not eplain themselves OR supply any "appeals process"

Because by the time they'd done it they've also destroyed any evidence proving either guilt or innocence.
0 Agree

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