(NASDAQ: to delete content from inactive personal accounts across its services, including Gmail, Google Photos and Google Docs, beginning Dec. 1.
What Happened: The decision was initially disclosed in July and target accounts that have remained inactive for over two years.
Google has been proactively notifying users of these dormant accounts through emails and notifications sent to recovery email addresses.
According to a report by Forbes, the initiative is part of Google's strategy to optimize data management and bolster security.
The policy is poised to affect a vast user base, with Gmail and Google Photos boasting over 1.8 billion and 2 billion users, respectively.
However, the impact will be limited to personal accounts not accessed in the past two years. Active users interacting with their Google accounts within this period are exempt from this data deletion.
According to Ruth Kricheli, vice president of product management at Google, inactive accounts are often more vulnerable to security risks.
"Our internal analysis shows abandoned accounts are at least 10x less likely than active accounts to have 2-step verification set up," Kricheli said in a blog post.
These accounts typically lack recent security updates and two-factor authentication, and may have outdated passwords, making them easy targets for cyber threats.
Google advises users with multiple accounts to log into each account at least once every two years to prevent data loss. The company also offers an account recovery process for users who may have lost access to their accounts, helping them to safeguard their data from automatic deletion.
This content was partially produced with the help of AI tools and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.