Google said Tuesday that some accounts with inactivity spanning a certain time frame will be purged by the tech giant.
In a blog post, the Alphabet-owned company revealed the accounts facing deletion will include ones whose owners haven’t logged into or used them in a minimum of two years. It will start doing so for only personal accounts after an update to its inactivity policy.
Google indicated its take down efforts will kick off in December, with accounts that never saw activity after their initial creation being targeted first.
Under the updated policy, the removals will cover both the Google Account in addition to its accompanying contents “within Google Workspace (Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar), YouTube and Google Photos,” according to the tech giant.
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Logging into a Google Account counts as activity – and so do things like reading an email, creating a Google Doc, watching a video on YouTube, conducting searches on the company’s search engine and other actions while signed in, according to Google. Having a subscription for a news outlet or an app linked to a Google Account constitutes activity as well.
For inactive personal accounts facing the ax, Google said it will “send multiple notifications over the months leading up the deletion, to both the account email address and the recovery email (if one has been provided).”
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The tech giant cited security as being behind the update to its inactivity policy. It said inactive 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 two-year inactivity policy has some exceptions. Google Accounts that have an outstanding gift card balance, own an active app or game, manage a minor’s active account, been used for buying digital items or made a “purchase of a Google product, app, service, or subscription that is current or ongoing” are exempt, according to a Google Account help center page.
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Google also recently made it so that individuals with personal Google Accounts can log in sans a password thanks to the new implementation of passkeys as an option for users.
The price of parent company Alphabet’s stock came in at roughly $121 as of Wednesday afternoon. That is nearly 36% higher than it was at the start of 2023 and up about 4% from a year ago.
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