Google is deleting all "Inactive accounts" (accounts without a login in over 2 years) starting December 2023

Quoted part relevant for FRC:

To reduce this risk, we are updating our inactivity policy for Google Accounts to 2 years across our products. Starting later this year, if a Google Account has not been used or signed into for at least 2 years, we may delete the account and its contents – including content within Google Workspace (Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar), YouTube and Google Photos.

  • While the policy takes effect today, it will not immediately impact users with an inactive account — the earliest we will begin deleting accounts is December 2023.

Similar to the Imgur removals starting last month, these policy changes threaten many FRC documents, including any older Livestreams/match recordings, old documents on Drive/docs, Photos on Google photos, and likely other items not specifically mentioned in the blog post.

This is more or less a warning now to start making sure your old accounts are deemed “active” if you have anything of value, FRC or personal, if you don’t want them deleted.

They dont care about your inactive account if you’re paying them with it though:

If you have an existing subscription set up through your Google Account, for example to Google One, a news publication or an app, we also consider this account activity and your account will not be impacted.

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Does this mean they are going to delete that content from their datasets?

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Going into the linked help center article they have from the blog, it suggests that the deletion of the data from their servers will happen, though if you are quick enough after the account is deleted you can still get it back:

If you deleted your Google Account, you may be able to get it back. If it’s been awhile since you deleted your account, you may not be able to recover the data in your account.

It seems they treat their inactive deletions the same as you deleting your account.

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What a rough time for losing reams of legacy information between this and Imgur. Save the stuff you care about folks, regardless of what site its on or how long you think it will be around. (It’s not data hoarding, I swear)

man, there’s a lot of video I still need to archive…

I’m still mourning the loss of early HD 2008 match footage from my old team that was on Google Video

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I know of several active companies whose websites never recovered from Google Video deleting their flash videos and still have broken embeds.

Nothing ever gets deleted from the internet*.
(*unless groups are relying upon it)

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Sometime after the anouncement was posted, this was added:

Additionally, we do not have plans to delete accounts with YouTube videos at this time.

Theoretically, any YouTube accounts are safe for now. However, plans certainly could change at any point and accounts that used other Google services but not YouTube are still at risk. This also does not say that Google considers those YouTube accounts “active”.

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