Google To Start Deleting Inactive Accounts In December

Google has announced that it will start deleting inactive accounts later this year, which it claims will help enhance privacy.

However, it could also be a cost-saving measure to free up space on its servers.

Deleting these accounts will affect all platforms for which they are used, including Gmail, Drive, Docs, YouTube, Photos, Meet and Calendar.

Google said the new policy only applies to personal accounts, meaning business and school emails will be spared from the account purge.

The company attributed its decision to delete inactive accounts to a higher risk of them being hacked as “forgotten or unattended accounts often rely on old or re-used passwords that may have been compromised”.

“Our internal analysis shows abandoned accounts are at least 10x less likely than active accounts to have 2-step verification set up,” said Googe product management VP Ruth Kricheli.

“Meaning, these accounts are often vulnerable, and once an account is compromised, it can be used for anything from identity theft to a vector for unwanted or even malicious content, like spam.”

Google accounts under threat of being deleted will receive an initial email from the company warning the holder that it will be deactivated if they don’t log in within 60 days.

Once deactivated, Google says the account holder will have another 60 days to reactivate it by logging in before it is permanently deleted.

“Before deleting an account, we will send multiple notifications over the months leading up to deletion, to both the account email address and the recovery email,” it said.

While the new policy took effect on Tuesday, 16 May 2023, Google says it won’t start deleting accounts until December at the earliest and will use a phased approach, starting with accounts that were created and then never used again.

Article first appeared on MyBroadband

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