- Posted July 27, 2014 by
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PhoneSheriff.com loses over 2 months of customer data
Today we learned that a prominent mobile device monitoring company (PhoneSheriff - phonesheriff.com, from Retina-X Studios) suffered a server failure and has lost all customer data, logs, and accounts since May 25th, 2014. They have not publicly notified anyone, and their website (as well as their support site) have no notice as to the issue. However, in a support email with them, they state:
"I want to apologize on behalf of all of us here at Retina-X Studios. There was a server failure for our PhoneSheriff customers and it unfortunately deleted all new user accounts and logs from May 25th, 2014 to today. The logs that were lost cannot be retrieved, but if your user account is coming up as not registered, I can issue you a new license code so you can register your account again. You will then need to re-login on the monitored device(s) so they can attach themselves to your account. Right now, we are in the process of upgrading our server database and the switch over was expected to last only a few hours but then things went wrong due to high traffic, and it might take the best of a whole day to straighten everything out."
Retina-X Studios, the creators and providers of PhoneSheriff, have not communicated why a single server failure would result in a loss of over 2 months of customer data. In most common technology operations, and especially in any operation offering a service of which data is a key component, you will find regular backups of data and appropriate data retention policies to avoid this kind of catastrophic failure.
Additionally, Retina-X Studios has no proactive notification for their customers who may be relying on this information and their services. The company appears to be relying on a strategy where they are hoping for the issue to simply be forgotten.
When the Retina-X Studios was questioned about the issue, they simply replied with an offer to reinstall their software and resume service. They offer no compensation or refunds for their failures (despite their website offering refunds as a 'guarantee' - http://www.phonesheriff.com/about.html).