As Google confirms it can now delete your Gmail, WhatsApp accounts suffer the same fate

As Google confirms it can now delete your Gmail, WhatsApp accounts suffer the same fate

06/06/2021

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Google has just changed its terms and conditions which means it can now delete Gmail, Photos and Drive accounts from its online servers without needing permission from the user. This update came into force this month with anyone not using their accounts for a long period of time facing the possibility of losing their content.

“If you’re inactive for 2 years (24 months) in Gmail, Drive or Photos, we may delete the content in the product(s) in which you’re inactive. If you exceed your storage limit for 2 years, we may delete your content across Gmail, Drive and Photos,” Google said in a post on its website.

As long as you use your account you won’t be affected by these new changes but it could impact some who don’t access their online lives on a regular basis.

Google says it is bringing in the refreshed policy in a bid to rid its servers of accounts and files that lay dormant for a number of years. And it’s not just Google that can send your account to the digital scrap heap as WhatsApp users can suffer the same fate.

WhatsApp explain how users can change their phone number

Its billions of users might not be aware of these rules but a quick dig into WhatsApp’s terms and conditions reveals that the Facebook-owned firm can delete accounts if they lay dormant for a set amount of time.

WhatsApp says that anyone who doesn’t use their account for 120 days could find that things get deleted.

In a post on its website, the chat app says: “To maintain security, limit data retention, and protect the privacy of our users, WhatsApp accounts are generally deleted after 120 days of inactivity. Inactivity means the user hasn’t connected to WhatsApp.”

It’s worth noting that even if you launch WhatsApp but your device isn’t connected to the web, the company still assumes that you are inactive.

“An internet connection is required for an account to be active. If a user has WhatsApp open on their device, but they don’t have an internet connection, then the account will be inactive,” explained WhatsApp.

Although this may sound a bit scary, if your account is deleted you can register your device again.

WhatsApp says that any content stored locally on a user’s device prior to account deletion will remain until WhatsApp is deleted from the device.

When a user reregisters for WhatsApp on the same device, their locally stored content will reappear.

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