Alphabet's Google on Tuesday said it would delete accounts that had remained unused for two years starting December, in a bid to prevent security threats including hacks.
The company said that if a Google account had not been used or signed into for at least two years, it might delete the account and content across Google Workspace, which includes Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet and Calendar, as well as YouTube and Google Photos.
The policy change only applies to personal Google Accounts and not to those for organizations like schools or businesses.
In 2020, Google had said it would remove content stored in an inactive account, but not delete the account itself.
Starting Tuesday, Google will send multiple notifications to the account email address and recovery mail of the inactive accounts before deletion.
Last week, Elon Musk said Twitter would remove accounts that have been inactive for several years and archive them, saying that the action is "important to free up abandoned handles."
Earlier this month, it was reported that Google, Microsoft, Amazon and other non-European Union cloud service providers looking to secure an EU cybersecurity label to handle sensitive data could only do so via a joint venture with an EU-based company, according to an EU draft document seen by Reuters.
US tech giants and others involved in the joint venture could only have a minority stake, and employees that have access to EU data would have to undergo specific screening and have to be located in the 27-country bloc, the document said.
Last month, shares of Alphabet fell over 4 percent in premarket trading after a report that South Korea's Samsung Electronics was considering replacing Google with Microsoft-owned Bing as the default search engine on its devices.
© Thomson Reuters 2023
Google I/O 2023 saw the search giant repeatedly tell us that it cares about AI, alongside the launch of its first foldable phone and Pixel-branded tablet. This year, the company is going to supercharge its apps, services, and Android operating system with AI technology. We discuss this and more on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts. Affiliate links may be automatically generated - see our ethics statement for details.