Dropbox deleted my Dropbox account. It’s one I’ve had for years now, even paying for additional storage space in order to have some 30 GB of files synced and available across all my devices.

I should note here: I didn’t use Dropbox as my only storage service. Much of my data is on Amazon Web Services; some is in iCloud; some is still in Google Drive. Dropbox was where I kept things that I didn’t necessarily need on my machine, but that I did still access fairly frequently: a headshot, the pigeon and typewriter logo, PDFs I should be reading, and stuff like that.

This summer, when we were in the middle of the Drone Recovery journal, Kin created a business account so that he could more easily upload and share Drone Recovery files with me. (Video and photo data demanded we purchase more storage.) I was added to the Drone Recovery “team” on Dropbox, so I had access to a folder in my Dropbox account where I could get to all those videos and photos and draft blog posts.

We’re looking to save some money, so this week, Kin opted to cancel that business account, so he removed me as a team member. When I woke up Wednesday, I’d been logged out of my Dropbox account – or so I thought. When I entered my credentials, Dropbox told me that there was no user with that email address.

My account was gone.

In removing me from the Drone Recovery team, Dropbox removed me from Dropbox entirely – even though only one shared folder in my Dropbox account was associated with that particular administrative privilege.

My data was gone – or so I thought. When Kin logged into Dropbox, he found my whole account – all my personal data – had been transferred to his. In this case, it’s not a huge issue. He’s my partner. But good grief, imagine all the ways in which this could go desperately wrong. If you're fired from work. If you have sensitive records you cannot share with anyone. This is a huge privacy and security flaw. Dropbox says the process is “working as intended.”

Needless to say, I’m not going to rejoin Dropbox once Kin gives me back that 30 GB of data. I’m not sure what I’m going to do. All the alternatives suck.

Audrey Watters


Audrey Watters


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