Google informed users that a significant update to the platform would result in the deletion of millions of Gmail accounts in December.
According to a story from The Independent, every personal Google account that has been inactive for at least two years will have all of its emails, documents, spreadsheets, calendar appointments, photos, and videos permanently erased.
The Gmail deletion policy that was introduced earlier this year is not expected to take effect until December 2023 at the earliest. The move will strive to bring Google’s policy on inactive accounts into an agreement with industry norms for retention and online account termination. This will be accomplished by limiting the amount of time Google stores excessive personal data.
In a blog post that was published in May, Google Vice President of Product Management Ruth Kricheli noted that “this update aligns our policy with industry standards around retention and account deletion.” In addition, “this update limits the amount of time Google retains your unused personal information,” the report from Yorkshire Live stated.
Enhancing Security Risks Amid Rising Online Threats
Dormant Gmail accounts are vulnerable to hacking, especially if they make use of credentials that have been stolen due to previous security lapses and are easily accessible on the dark web. The primary goal of this effort to delete dormant Gmail accounts is to protect active Google users from potential security risks such as phishing scams and account theft.
Gmail users whose accounts are at risk of being deleted will get multiple warnings from Google before any action is done, including notifications sent to related recovery email addresses. This is a guarantee made by Google.
Google advises users to continue utilizing its online services, such as sending and receiving emails, working on Google Drive, accessing the internet, installing programs from the Google Play Store, and watching movies on YouTube, in order to maintain an active status for their accounts.
Google also promises to keep active YouTube accounts that have previously published content, regardless of the amount of time that has passed since the account was last accessed.
Google Legal Woes Mount (Delete Dormant Gmail Accounts)
This change comes at a time when Google is facing its second major antitrust action in the United States in the past two months. The case centers on allegations that the Google Play Store has a stranglehold on the market for Android applications.
According to current information provided by AP News, the video game developer Epic Games is the one who initiated the legal action. Epic Games is alleging that the internet behemoth is improperly utilizing its position in the market to prevent competitors and generate more money through the fees associated with in-app purchases. These assertions have been contested by Google, which asserts that other mobile and video game console marketplaces, in addition to Apple’s app store for iPhone applications, provide significant competition.
When Google was engaged in a legal battle with Epic, the company took a position that was somewhat ironic in that it emphasized Android’s competition with Apple and the iPhone. In September, Google was the target of the most significant antitrust case in the United States in the past quarter century. This trial concentrated on the financial contract that Google made with Apple to assure that Google’s search engine would be the default for the internet browser that comes preinstalled on the iPhone.