Google is going to delete accounts.
Google said that the update is aimed at protecting active users from security threats like phishing scams and account hijacking. Old accounts that have not been used for years are typically at risk from hackers who may use the same passwords that have been compromised in other security breaches.
Google also said that the update will help limit the amount of time that Google retains unused personal information, in line with industry standards and privacy regulations.
Google will not delete any account without warning. The tech giant has already begun sending emails to those affected, telling them that they need to sign in to their accounts before December 2023 to avoid losing their data. Google will also send notifications to any associated recovery email addresses and phone numbers.
The update will not affect any account that has posted a video to YouTube, regardless of when it was last active. It will also not affect any account that has a paid subscription to Google services, such as Google One, Google Workspace, or YouTube Premium.
To keep an account active and avoid being deleted, Google users are advised to do any of the following actions while logged in to the account:
- Open or send an email
- Use Google Drive
- Download an app on the Google Play Store
- Make a Google Search
- Use any other Google service
Losing access to a Gmail account could also potentially prevent people from using other online platforms and services that are associated with that email address, even if they are not related to Google. Therefore, it is important to check your old Gmail accounts and back up any important data before it is too late.