Yesterday, February 11th 2020, we heard from a number of our users using the service to sync Google data that they had received an email from Google notifying them that NuevaSync’s access to their data would be disabled on February 18th. This exposes an unfortunate truth about cloud services such as Google Calendar and GMail: that it is Google’s choice, rather than the user’s, whether to allow access to your data, for services like ours.

When the NuevaSync service was first developed the service 13 years ago Google had a policy of open user-controlled access–presumably to encourage adoption of their services. Access to user data for 3rd party applications was permitted, provided the user had granted permission. Over the years Google’s position as a service provider grew more dominant, reducing their need to encourage third party services. At the same time bad actors entered the scene, with the goal to sell user data, generate spam and other malicious activity, and posing as legitimate Google application developers.

These two factors have prompted Google to introduce a series of additional hoops through which 3rd party service providers such as NuevaSync have to jump in order to retain access to Google user data. We have invested considerable time and resources complying with these measures over the past two years. However, Google recently added yet another condition which unfortunately it has not been practical for us to meet: a security audit to be performed on our servers, procedures and software by a Google-designated audit company. While in general security audits are a good thing (we have undertaken them for our large commercial customers in the past and we take user data security very seriously), in this instance we would have to cover the cost of the audit, estimated at many times our annual revenue from Google users. The cost can’t be justified in the context of the size of the business and frankly it’s just not affordable. With these new measures Google is effectively terminating access for small service providers like us.

The February 11 email from Google appears to represent the end of the road in that we don’t have options to comply with the latest conditions for user data access and it also seems unlikely that Google will reverse their position at this point. Therefore we will be taking steps to discontinue support for Google data sources over the next few days, initially for new users and existing accounts not currently configured with Google sources.

It’s possible that there may yet be a workaround or an 11’th hour reversal by Google. For example we don’t yet know if the termination date applies to GSuite accounts or only GMail accounts. Updates on the situation will be posted on our web site. NuevaSync service in general of course remains available: it’s only support for Google-hosted data that is being discontinued. Note also that for many users Google’s own smartphone apps can now provide equivalent functionality to our service for Google email, calendar and contacts data. For those users who are interested in switching email provider to a Google alternative, our service is available bundled through these independent email and calendar service providers: Rackspace Webmail and LuxSci.

Thank you to all our Google users for your support over the years.