Google will begin deleting inactive Photos and Gmail accounts starting on December 1st.
This action was planned and announced by Google in May, targeting accounts that have been inactive for two years.
Inactive accounts are considered more likely to be compromised, as they often have outdated or reused passwords, lack two-factor authentication, and receive fewer security checks.
Ruth Kricheli, Google's VP of product management, emphasized that this move is a necessary security measure to protect users.
Abandoned accounts are at least 10 times less likely than active accounts to have two-step verification set up, making them vulnerable to various security threats.
The deletion process will include wiping all content associated with the accounts, including Drive, Google Photos, and Docs files.
Gmail had 1.5 billion global active users as of 2019, making it one of the most popular email services globally.
The deletion policy applies to personal Google accounts and not to accounts used for organizational purposes or those used to purchase Google products or subscriptions.
Google will take a phased approach, starting with accounts created and never used again. Warnings will be sent to the account's email and recovery addresses before deletion.
Users can prevent their accounts from being deleted by signing in to their Google dashboard, Gmail account, YouTube, Drive, or downloading an app from the Play Store, as these activities will be counted as user activity.