In response to internet users' concerns, Google has revised its policy to ensure that YouTube videos on inactive accounts will not be deleted. Earlier, Google announced its plan to delete accounts inactive for two years as part of its strategy to combat fraud, since inactive accounts are easier to compromise and can be used for identity theft or malicious activities.
The tech giant backtracked on this decision for YouTube, clarifying, "We do not have plans to delete accounts with YouTube videos at this time.” The move preserves a massive amount of internet history that resides in old YouTube accounts, including the digital archives of deceased users.
The deletion process for Google Workspace (Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar) and Google Photos, however, will commence in December 2023. Google will start with accounts that were deleted and never reactivated. Users are assured they have ample time to secure their accounts by simply logging in, as Google defines activity as anything, even using Google to log into another app.
Google will issue multiple notifications to users before deleting an account, including a message to the recovery address. While YouTube content is safe for now, users should still back up essential data as other Google services and tech companies like Twitter, now run by Elon Musk, are considering purging inactive accounts.