Another case of poor Google privacy?

A while ago I signed up with Aardvark (vark.comowned by Google) – a site where you can ask all sorts of questions and get answers from whoever is (or feels) able to answer your question. Great idea, but I haven’t found it particularly useful. So today I decided to login and see if I was able to delete my account.

I found that I am able to deactivate my account, but that just meant that I can’t access my account, until I login again at which point the account will be re-activated. Huh? Then why (a series of swear words) bother?

I’ve seen similar ‘deactivate account’ functionality with other social network sites, but it is truly beyond belief that companies think that type of function should somehow satisfy anyone’s requirements – it’s a joke.

Sure, companies can probably try to get away with claiming copyright for anything hosted on their site, but surely the line is draw with ‘personal identifiable information’ – my name and email address is mine regardless. Please stop pretending and let’s have a proper delete account function (even Facebook provides one, although it is hard to find).

Update: I tried to contact Aardvark support and the dedicated privacy email address (privacy@themechanicalzoo.com found on this page: http://vark.com/privacy), which produced this response (and yes, I use Gmail):

From: Mail Delivery Subsystem 
To: john@johnbrondum.com
X-Failed-Recipients: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-
Subject: Delivery Status Notification (Failure)
Date: Mon, 07 Jun 2010 23:29:02 +0000

Hello john@johnbrondum.com,

We're writing to let you know that the group you tried to contact
(privacy) may not exist, or you may not have permission to post
messages to the group. A few more details on why you weren't able
to post:

 * You might have spelled or formatted the group name incorrectly.
 * The owner of the group may have removed this group.
 * You may need to join the group before receiving permission to post.
 * This group may not be open to posting.

If you have questions related to this or any other Google Group,
visit the Help Center at http://www.google.com/support/a/google.
com/bin/static.py?hl=en&page=groups.cs.

Thanks,

google.com admins

This is actually getting funny – in a tragic kind of way 🙂

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