Earlier in the month of May, 2023, Google started issuing email notification to all google email accounts users, on the new inactive policy, which is said to deleting inactive email accounts starting the end of this year (December 01, 2023).
The Giant company located at LLC 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA which has been offering free email services, for the past 2-decades (20-years) by April 2024, is said to adopt this new policy to curb the rate of inactive accounts hosted on their email services.
While email (electronic-mail), has made communication easier, fast and been a pioneer in driving business digitally, it is no doubt that maintaining these services by the providers cost a fortune, yet alone when such services are offered freely to billions of users, it sure does give an insight of how costly it demands to run such services.
In an email received by our technical team which has been circulating since May 2023, Google Stated:
“Every day, Google works hard to keep you and your private information safe and secure by preventing unauthorized access to your Google Account with our built-in security protections. And keeping you safe means having strong privacy practices across our products that minimize how long we store your personal files and any data associated with them. We want to protect your private information and prevent any unauthorized access to your account even if you’re no longer using our services.”
“Therefore, we are updating the inactivity period for a Google Account to two years across all our products and services. This change starts rolling out today and will apply to any Google Account that’s been inactive, meaning that it has not been signed in to or used within a two-year period. An inactive account and any content in it will be eligible for deletion from 1 December 2023.”
Apparently as stated in their inactive security policy, that only accounts, that have been inactive for a 2-year¸ period would face this permanent sanction. This implies that email accounts that haven’t been signed in within a 2-year period, or accessed would face the deletion immediately starting from December 01, 2023.
Fixitgearware Security Take on this:
After analyzing this inactive policy outline by Google, by our team we could deduce a few facts from these and categorizing it, in Pro and Cons, both its effect on Gmail users, and Google as an email service provider.
The Pros to this for both Google, and Gmail users are as follows:
- Google would be able to clear storages that are occupied by inactive email users, reducing cost, providing more storage, for maintaining and handling the data of active emails.
- This will enable criminals or threat actors to be easily captured, as in the bit not to lose their various email addresses, would use the “add another account” feature on a single device, this will make it easy for Google to profile user by their device, Ip address, and location, in accordance to the multiple email accounts running on that device at the same time, and easily track email addresses on the Feds List.
- Inactive users would see the need to now sign in to the emails, used in registering important events or organization on the web, as they might not have access to such services, if they lose their emails.
- Also, it will give users the need to see reasons to manage their multiple Gmail accounts on one device, and access them at ease.
The Cons to this for both Gmail users and Google are as follows:
- It is a known fact, that most Gmail users, have these multiple accounts in other to use the Google drive 15GB free storage. They create these emails just to be able to use the free option, while not using the email for any other necessity. When these emails are deleted and the associated files that are stored in the google drive is gone, the user can and will no longer be able to retrieve it. This might be risky if the user has the only backup in Google drive and no where else.
- This might affect Google as an organization, as it will drive competition, and allow newer companies to establish free email services without inactive termination policy, and for storage, users wouldn’t mind using Dropbox which has a more even cheaper pricing for instance a Google drive 2TB plan offers $9.99/month, while a Dropbox 5TB plan offers $15.00/month eligible for 3-users, and other little pecks and benefits.
- Although there are a lot of criminals who don’t want to be found, so is also private individuals who have no crime or ever done anything wrong tag to their name, and wish not to be profiled.
These crime free individuals, cannot be able to avoid this, as they are forced to sign in all their registered email to a single device to have easy view access, and prevent email termination. Therefore, such forceful decision might also put them on the tracking list, and would not make them feel comfortable knowing wherever they go, or access their email, Google would be aware and know where they are.
Although this might make it easy for them to profile you, and know who and where you are, as you can only have one or two devices to be able to sign in to your numerous accounts.
Creating a situation for google to know your signing devices, device geolocation, and tag it to all email accounts connected to the device, at any given point in time. This is not comfortable, as it gives you less control, and in the future if there are any security breaches, more information would be leaked, as newer technology (In this case adding multiple email accounts to a single device, which has to do with API calls, each time different email addresses, are accessed within the same Email App, on a single device), are always susceptible to security flaws.
We at Fixitgearware believe that while this is a good benefit, for Google to maintain its services, it is also a good idea for users, not to rely on a single email service provider, especially now there are numerous email services out there.
Please do let us know in the comment section what are your thoughts about this.