Google Is Deleting Your Account If You Don’t Use It And This Means Disaster For Many
Google is deleting accounts that have been inactive for two years, which may cause inattentive users to lose data.
Google will be deleting accounts that haven’t been accessed for a minimum of two years. The move comes as the technology giant works to strengthen their security protocols. While the new policy goes into effect immediately, the company won’t begin the deletion process until December.
But folks will be given several warning notifications before their Google account disappears.
The deletion process will occur gradually and in stages. According to the company’s website, the first accounts marked for deletion are those that were created but never revisited by the user. Google’s rationale behind the decision is to combat spam, as inactive accounts are ten times less likely to have 2-step verification enabled compared to active ones.
Once compromised, a Google account can become a vehicle for spam and identity theft. Deleting these old accounts not only frees up storage but is also an effective cost-cutting measure that aligns with the tech firm’s focus on financial optimization. According to ArsTechnica, the updated policy only applies to personal accounts, with organizations like schools and businesses being unaffected.
Google has recommended that the easiest way to keep an account active is to sign in at least once every two years, which is a simple task. The company provided a few examples of what constitutes “activity” once users are already logged in. This includes sending an email, adding a contact, or modifying any settings within your account.
Additional information regarding inactive accounts states that Android check-ins are considered a valid form of activity. Therefore, simply plugging in an Android phone could keep your Google account active indefinitely. Paying for a Google One storage subscription is also considered activity under the updated policy.
Interestingly, Google Photos operates with a distinct set of activity standards that pertain solely to photo storage. To avoid having your photos deleted, you must visit the Google Photos app (or website) or upload a new image to your account every two years. These criteria are separate from the general account activity requirements.
Data that will be lost if your Google account is deleted includes content across Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar, YouTube, and Google Photos. The move follows an announcement by Elon Musk, which said that Twitter would remove and archive accounts that have been inactive for several years. He explained that the “action is important to free up abandoned handles.”
Google’s new account deletion policy has received mixed reactions. Some see the move as a proactive measure to enhance security and mitigate spam. Others perceive it as infringing on individual rights and freedoms, especially those who have sentimental or historical attachments to their old accounts.
Additionally, people that rely on secondary accounts as a form of storage may face challenges if those accounts are deleted. Once a Google account has been deactivated, users will have 60 days to reactivate it before it is permanently deleted. The new policy took effect on May 16.
How effectively Google implements the deletion process accompanying warning as December approaches remains to be seen.