How the owner of a team Dropbox account can destroy your Dropbox account

    From a translator: I bring a translation of the story of one person who almost lost his Dropbox account just because he accepted an invitation from a team account. Designed as a post, and not as a translation because the author is not exactly known.

    Algorithm of actions in order to destroy someone’s account

    Create a team account on Dropbox. It will cost you $ 795 .
    1. Invite your foe who uses Dropbox to your team. This does not mean that he will immediately agree, but the proposal is quite tempting. 1TB of space (not only for your folders, but also for all its files).
    2. After he agrees, revoke his access to the command space. This will completely delete his Dropbox account (and not just the “team” files).

    Now the story

    In the summer, I worked for one start-up company, and its employees used the Dropbox team account. I already had a free Dropbox account, which I used to study and several personal projects. For myself, I needed no more than 2GB, but I had several shared folders for personal projects, and for study there were public folders with read-only access, links to which I gave to several classmates.

    When I started working for this company, they added me to their Dropbox “team”, and this (although it was a prerequisite for work) was cool, because I could get a lot of space for personal purposes - this is a whole 1TB for which I don’t you have to pay. Of course, I didn’t mind that it would be added to my “standard” account.

    At the end of the summer, I ended my collaboration with them, and yesterday they removed me from their Dropbox “team”. Reasonable, because they no longer made sense to pay Dropbox for my 1TB.

    However, it is unreasonable that Dropbox deleted my account immediately after this happened. Completely. Because of this, I lost contact with all my clients, and when I tried to use the “password recovery” function, I received a message in reply that an account with such an e-mail does not exist.

    The client left all the files on my computers, so I did not lose any personal data - the situation was not critical. But here is what I lost:
    • Lost access to shared folders that did not belong to me.
    • Lost the access list for folders that I “shared”.
    • Lost some free extra megabytes that I received for bringing friends to Dropbox, etc.
    • All permalinks to read-only public folders that I used with classmates became invalid.
    • I had to wait several hours while ~ 2GB of data was being downloaded to my new Dropbox account through my barely live ADSL connection.

    I tried to contact Dropbox via twitter and through the feedback form, their answer is below.

    It turns out that this is not a bug, everything is spelled out in the documents.
    Here is a FAQ on this subject:

    "If you ever decide to leave the team, then you can no longer make your team account individual, to which you will have access."

    By the way, an e-mail message inviting you to join someone’s “Team” account does not contain information that there will be no return trip. Here is the email I received when I was added:

    Hello Yoni,
    “name” invites you to join the “team name” on Dropbox for teams!
    To accept this invitation and improve your account, go to: .
    If you have any questions, contact “name” by email “support” or
    Welcome to the team!
    - Dropbox

    Despite the fact that in my case the issue will be resolved soon, the problem itself still remains: you can still delete Dropbox user accounts. Also, keep in mind: The team account administrator has the right to decide whether to restore your account or not. And although in my case there were no problems, no one will help you with a “malicious” removal.

    About 2 hours after this message appeared on HN , I received the following email from Dropbox tech support.

    Ryan M. - Dropbox Support, Dec 24 09:42 am (PST):
    Thank you for your email.
    When you were removed from your former team, your account was also deactivated, as this is part of this process. I am happy to help you and the administrator of your ex-team restore your account.
    Given that the administrator of the team did not have any objections, I will restore your account, but for this you need to first delete the new Dropbox account that you created using your email address. Since only one Dropbox account is allowed to be registered to the same email address, I will not be able to restore your old account until this email address is available.
    After I restore your account, all your files, folders, and any additional storage space that was provided to you will be completely restored.
    If I can help you with anything else, let me know.

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