Owners of Sidekick phones — which are especially popular with young, urban users, including many students — might have lost all the personal information they put on the device, including their contact numbers, because of a failure of servers that remotely stored the data, reports the Associated Press. The incident is a huge blow to the reputation of the Sidekick and is a reminder of the dangers of trusting a single provider to safeguard information. The phones are made by a Microsoft Corp. subsidiary and sold by T-Mobile USA, which say many Sidekick owners’ information is "almost certainly" gone. T-Mobile gave customers a $20 refund to cover the cost of one month of data usage on the phone. It also will give certain customers who experienced a "significant and permanent" loss of personal data a $100 customer appreciation card to be used toward T-Mobile products and services, or their phone bill. Microsoft spokeswoman Debbie Anderson said there was a still a chance some of the lost user data could be restored from a backup system. Engineers were working at it in the Microsoft data center where the failure occurred, she said. The Sidekick’s remote data storage feature was ahead of its time and served as a selling point for the device. It meant that if someone lost a phone, the contents could be downloaded to a new one easily. But the Sidekick didn’t complement the remote storage with a convenient way to save all data locally. Most newer phones, such as Apple’s iPhone, are designed to back up a user’s data when the device is connected to a PC…

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