Posted by on March 10, 2020 9:00 am
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Categories: Newsjones

Many of the digital things we think we own are merely being rented. It is time to accept that we don’t have a master key to the big filing cabinet in the sky

At about 4pm on Sunday, a decade of my life disappeared for ever. I logged into my ancient Yahoo email account to try to find an old message from a university friend. A notice curtly informed me that, as I had not used the account for a year, my inbox had been wiped. Yahoo was my first “adult” email account, an upgrade from my halcyon Hotmail years. It chronicled my life from 2000 to 2010; suddenly, all those contacts, conversations and memories were gone – just like that. Yahoo had not warned me, even though I had given it my Gmail details as an alternative address.

Surely there was someone I could talk to about this. There was – but I would have to sign up to a premium service and pay $4.99 (£3.80) a month for the privilege of speaking to a human being. Instead, I contacted the company on Twitter. “This is normal and the emails cannot be restored,” a representative informed me. Yahoo then ignored all my desperate follow-up messages. I was ghosted by a web services provider.

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