How much is your data worth?

By now you've  undoubtedly heard about the rather catastrophic data loss involving the Sidekick. If not, the short, short version: All of the data on the Sidekick is stored on the device or on servers run by Danger (which, of course, was purchased by Microsoft). During a recent upgrade, the Storage Area Network, or SAN, wasn't backed up before being upgraded. Basically, standard operating procedure was ignored. (This is, for the same reason, why we repeat over and over to backup your data before upgrading your Windows phone.)

Today, Microsoft issued the following:

REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 13, 2009 — We are thankful for the continued patience as Microsoft-Danger works to preserve platform stability and restore all services for our Sidekick customers. We have made significant progress this past weekend, restoring services to virtually every customer. Microsoft-Danger has teams of experts in place that are working around the clock to ensure this stability is maintained.T-Mobile and Microsoft-Danger continue to do all we can to recover and return customers’ lost personal content. Recent efforts indicate that recovering some lost content may now be possible. We will continue to keep you updated on this front; we know how important this is to you.T-Mobile will send a $100 customer appreciation card to those who have experienced a significant and permanent loss of personal content. This appreciation card will be in addition to the free month of data service customers have already been given. The card can be used toward T-Mobile products and services or a customer’s T-Mobile bill. Details will be sent in the next 14 days to customers who fit this category — there is no action needed on their part. We, however, remain hopeful that personal content can be recovered for the majority of our customers.Sidekick customers can visit T-Mobile Forums regularly to access the latest updates as well as FAQs regarding this service disruption.

So how much is your data worth? Apparently $100, though some users are getting their data back.

Is this damning on cloud computing? Yep. On Danger and Microsoft? Double-yep. Does that mean the end of cloud computing, Danger, Microsoft, or the world as we know it? Certainly not.

Back up your data. Period. Nothing is infallible.

Phil is the father of two beautiful girls and is the Dad behind Modern Dad. Before that he spent seven years at the helm of Android Central. Before that he spent a decade in a newsroom of a two-time Pulitzer Prize-finalist newspaper. Before that — well, we don't talk much about those days. Subscribe to the Modern Dad newsletter!

  • "Nothing is infallible." Except the great Cthulhu. *He* is infallible.
  • I think this is more damning on not having a coherent change management process. Major upgrades in our organization have to go through a change process where your implementation and backout strategy are examined. A major upgrade without a cohesive backout plan will not be approved. Obviously MS/Danger/Hitachi did not have any backout plan in place which is pretty surprising considering they were upgrading a SAN where loss of data could affect tens of thousands of users.
  • I think this is a major FUBAR... Performing no backup of the data before a major switch? Bad, bad, bad IT work. I do find it shocking that the data recovery is SUCH an issue as well, as you should be able to get the data back even if it was a simple single swipe format. Oh well, I don't understand anyone who would trust all their data in one location anyway... Never even knew the sidekick was like that.
  • This is just one of the reasons I take issue with "cloud" computing. Individuals and businesses should take responsibility for their own data storage solutions, because just like outsourcing, those you allow to store your data don't have the same "ownership" value that you do. The other thing is that Microsoft/Danger have done nothing on the consumer end, and have basically left damage control on T-Mobile. I wouldn't be surprised if the "embargo" T-mobile has placed on Sidekicks doesn't become permanent.
  • Phil, among those who lost significant data especially, I think there's some major outage outrage among Sidekick-ers. I wanted to add a strategy to reduce your cell bill by around 20 percent for those T-Mobile customers (or even people with other carriers, for that matter) who want aren't satisfied and want to go farther than the discounts, coupons and freebies. I'll cut to the chase: I work in the consumer advocacy division of the company Validas, where we electronically audit and subsequently reduce the average cell bill by 22 percent through our website, Put simply, Validas guards against frivolous and unnecessary charges that inflate your cell bill more than it should be for your usage. You can find out for free if can modify your plan to better suit your needs by going to the website. For more info, check out Validas in the national news media, most recently on Fox News at . Good luck to everyone on further reducing those wireless costs. Dylan
    Consumer Advocacy,
  • Wow...I wasnt really expecting this...