Google will delete unused accounts for security reasons

By Kuksung Nam, The Readable
May 18, 2023 7:30PM GMT+9

Google will remove accounts and their contents that have been dormant for more than 2 years to protect users from security risks.

In a recent statement, Ruth Kricheli, the vice president of product management at Google, announced their updated policy on inactive accounts. Under the new rule, personal accounts that have not been logged in to for at least two years will be deleted starting from December. This includes account contents within Google Workplace and Google Photos.

Moreover, Google described the types of activities that could be regarded as being characteristic of an active account. If users have a history of using Google drive, downloading an app on the Google Play Store, or watching YouTube videos while logged in, their account would be classified as active. Accounts linked with subscription services and YouTube videos will also not be affected.

The tech giant revised their policy because of security concerns. According to the company’s internal analysis, abandoned accounts are at least 10 times less likely to set up two step verification than active accounts, making them more vulnerable to threats. Two step verification is a security process that adds an extra protective layer by having users enter an auto-generated code when signing in.

The cover image of this article was designed by Areum Hwang.

Kuksung Nam is a journalist for The Readable. She has extensively traversed the globe to cover the latest stories on the cyber threat landscape and has been producing in-depth stories on security and privacy by engaging with industry giants, foreign government officials and experts. Before joining The Readable, Kuksung reported on politics for one of South Korea’s top-five local newspapers, The Kyeongin Ilbo. Her journalistic skills and reportage earned her the coveted Journalists Association of Korea award in 2021 for her essay detailing exclusive stories about the misconduct of a former government official. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in French from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, a testament to her linguistic capabilities.