Google is taking drastic measures to improve the security of its services, and the company announced a new plan to start deleting inactive accounts later this year. The search engine giant says inactive, forgotten, or unattended accounts are more likely to be compromised. They often rely on old or re-used passwords, they lack two-factor authentication, and they haven't received user security checks.
From December 2023 onward, Google says it will start deleting accounts that have been inactive for two years or longer. The account's contents will be deleted across different platforms, including Google Workspace (Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, and Calendar), YouTube, and Google Photos.
Speaking of YouTube, as Android Police notes, this new policy may cause old videos uploaded from now-inactive accounts to be deleted from the platform, no matter how popular and viewed they may be. But maybe that's not going to be the case.
Judging by Google's new policy, the company thought things through and isn't approaching this thing lightly. It won't start nuking inactive accounts left and right at random. There is logic to the method, so perhaps the company will consider keeping inactive accounts whose YouTube videos still get traction.
You'll have plenty of options and chances to avoid getting your account deleted
Firstly, it's important to note that this new policy only applies to personal Google accounts and won't affect accounts belonging to organizations, such as businesses or schools, no matter how old and inactive they may be.
Secondly, the first inactive accounts to go will be those that were created and never used again. Furthermore, Google says it will send plenty of notices before it takes action and deletes an account. The company will send multiple notifications over the months leading up to deletion.
And finally, users can easily avoid getting their inactive accounts deleted and reactivating them by taking simple actions such as reading or sending an email, using Google Drive, watching a YouTube video, downloading an app from the Play Store, using Google Search, and signing in with Google to a third-party app or service.