Disaster: T-Mobile loses Sidekick customer data

Robert Clark
12 Oct 2009

T-Mobile Sidekick customers face the loss of all their personal data in the biggest ever cloud computing failure.

The service, run by Microsoft subsidiary Danger, did not have a backup for the data.

In a posting on its website, T-Mobile said that personal information “almost certainly has been lost as a result of a server failure at Microsoft/Danger.”

The likelihood of recovering the data “is extremely low,” it added.

It is not clear if the Danger’s servers failed or, as some have speculated, the servers went down during a SAN upgrade.

T-Mobile's SideKick phone users rely on Danger's online service to supply apps such as contacts, calendars, IM and SMS, media player, and to store the associated data.

Danger’s servers began to go offline on October 2 and then were restored on October 6, but without the personal data, saidAppleInsider .

It was not until yesterday that T-Mobile issued a statement, warning customers not to “remove your battery, reset your Sidekick, or allow it to lose power.”

“This goes beyond FAIL, face-palm, or any of the other internet memes we’ve come to associate with incompetence,” said blogsite TechCrunch. “The fact that T-Mobile and/or Microsoft Danger don’t have a redundant backup is simply inexcusable, especially given the fact that the Sidekick is totally reliant on the cloud because it doesn’t store its data locally.”

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