Story of dotted emails
Around 3-6 months ago, I've started getting email from Facebook for a certain other person on my
dsegan account on gmail (only forwarded to my other email, and barely used). Knowing Facebook requires email verification, I was surprised to see that, but since it stopped in a day or two, I've ignored it, attributing it to probable lax policy on Facebook account creation (eg. they could be letting people use their accounts for some time even before they confirm the email or something like that).
Not long after, I've seen more emails sent to a person named with a first name starting on "D" as well and having the identical last name, and directed to
d.segan account on gmail. Note the dot in the middle.
This still happens from time to time, and here is what I suspect:
- Google seems to have allowed at one point in the past accounts with dots in the name to be registered as separate accounts
- In the meantime, they have disallowed that and made them all aliases to the same account (eg.
ds.egan…). Old accounts have been left as they were.
- Sometime in the last 6 months, they've decided to fix this inconsistency.
- I had registered an account earlier than that other person
It seems as if Google has just decided to delete those accounts created later: meaning, a bunch of people lost email accounts they have used for some time. I've heard reports of other cases like this (I know of at least one other person who started getting emails sent to the same gmail address with a dot in a different place).
If I am not wrong in my analysis, here's a few questions to ponder:
- Why would Google put sanitizing the system and avoiding bug workarounds ahead of actual people? Did they at least try to let them know of the fact what they are doing?
- Do they care about privacy? I've already gotten some emails which could be considered confidential and some which are very much private.
- Are there any better reasons for distributed identities (which emails are, but Google is quickly becoming a monopolist) than realizing that otherwise, you don't have control of your identity at all?
- Did any of the people who got crapped on like this get another email account at gmail? (masochists :)
And if I am wrong, wtf is going on?