JAKARTA - Google is following in the footsteps of Twitter which will remove inactive accounts to protect users from security threats, such as spam, phishing scams, and account hijacking.
The account to be deleted is known to be inactive for at least two years. Google said it would not start deleting accounts until December 2023.
"Starting at the end of this year, if Google Accounts are not used or are not used for at least two years, we can delete accounts and content including content in Google Workspace (Gmail, Documents, Drive, Meet, Calendar), YouTube, and Google Photos," Google said in a blog post, quoted Wednesday, May 17.
The company plans to send some warning notifications to users and clean inactive accounts in stages.
"If an account is not used for a long period of time, it is likely that the account will be compromised," Google said in a statement.
"This is because forgotten or unsupervised accounts often rely on old passwords or reused ones that may have been compromised, have not set two-factor authentication (2FA), and received fewer security checks by users," he added.
Based on Google's internal analysis, it shows that accounts left behind are at least 10 times less likely than active accounts to prepare 2FA.
This means that they are often vulnerable and once the account is compromised, the account can be used for anything, from identity theft to vectors for unwanted or even harmful content, such as spam.
Therefore, the policy will take effect in all Google products starting later this year. The Mountain View, California, USA giant stressed that the new rules only apply to personal Google Accounts.
The new policy will not affect accounts for organizations such as schools or businesses. And, users who subscribe to Google One, news publications, or apps, will also not be affected.
"This update aligns our policies with industry standards around account retention and deletion, as well as limits the amount of time Google stores your personal information that is not used," Google explained.
Furthermore, Google reminds to keep Google Accounts active by entering at least once every two years.
If users have logged into a Google Account or one of the company's recent services, such as watching YouTube or downloading an app on the Google Play Store, their account will be considered active and will not be deleted.
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