Google has reversed its decision that literally prohibited users from commercially reselling their Pixel devices with its controversial ban.
It has been reported that more than two hundred users have been affected by this ban and their accounts have been blocked.
Controversy over Ban
The ban had wiped out the digital identity of users who had resold Pixel phones, using tax loopholes to get profits. The digital identity that was banned consisted of the Gmail account, the user’s access to photos, files and voicemails and so on. Several users reselling their Pixel devices were affected, as they were actually violating the Terms of Service of the company, as it prohibits the user from commercially reselling its devices.
It seems that Google has responded rather disproportionately to users who had violated the Terms of service. Daniel Eleff of Dan’s Deals website compares the ban to a twenty first century version where a user loses a priceless memento due to a house fire. The website was among the first that spotted the ban, following complaints from several members in the forum.
The violation consisted of users who had purchased the Pixel phones from the Project Fi operator and shipped the device to resellers in New Hampshire. They were able to get profits, as there is no sales tax in this place. Resellers in New Hampshire would give the consumer a part of the profit when it resold the device.
It has to be said in Google’s defense that the agreement between the resellers and the initial buyer was rather shady. Google had to respond in some way to such shady deals involving its devices. However, it seems to be a step too far to completely wipe out the identities of the user. It is argued that the company could have allowed the said consumers to export the data.
The news regarding such bans issued to users was noticed by several media outlets during this week, such as The Guardian and Consumerist as well as PCMag and Engadget among others. The AP has stated that the actions of the company are a kind of death sentence to the users.
Eleff has tracked the problem in the Dan’s Deals website and has posted Google’s statement that he has received. The company’s statement explains that some of the users had specifically created such accounts, for the only purpose of following this scheme and selling their devices to make a profit. However, this did not apply to all the resellers, so Google is now trying to make amends and allowing access to users who have a genuine accountChange of Heart
The Guardian has noticed an update from the company in Dan’s Deals site. Google states that the company has investigated the problem and is offering a restoration of access to genuine users who have been blocked from using the services. The punishment is no longer in excess of the crime committed. However, it shows users are not in complete control over their accounts or their digital life. If they make one wrong move, they can lose digital identities and important data within a short time.