Google to Delete Accounts Inactive for More Than Two Years

Google to Delete Accounts Inactive for More Than Two Years

News by Roberto OrosaRoberto Orosa
Published: May 17, 2023

Google is updating its policy by deleting accounts that have not been active for more than two years.   

According to the company's blog site, the update protects users from security threats like spam, phishing scams, and account hijacking. 

"This is because forgotten or unattended accounts often rely on old or re-used passwords that may have been compromised, haven't had two-factor authentication set up, and receive fewer security checks by the user," the company explained. 

The company's internal analysis also showed that inactive accounts are ten times less likely to have two-step-verification setups, making them vulnerable to threats.  

While the new policy takes effect today, Google said it will not begin deleting inactive accounts until December of this year. Alongside the inactive reserves, their content in YouTube, Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar, Photos and other Google Workspace apps will also be deleted. 

According to the company, the policy will only apply to personal Google Accounts, and accounts run by schools or businesses will be safe. Google will also send the inactive accounts multiple notifications in the months leading up to their deletion and will not touch on inactive accounts with ongoing subscriptions.  

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While this update addresses specific security concerns, it can also pose a problem for users who have forgotten their passwords and affect accounts owned by deceased users.  

Users of Twitter echo the same concerns, as Google's new policy comes just a week after Twitter CEO Elon Musk announced the archiving of inactive accounts on the platform. 

As per Musk, the purge is "important to free up abandoned handles" and warned users that they might experience a sudden drop in followers.   

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