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

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 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.