As Google confirms it can now delete your Gmail, WhatsApp accounts are suffering a similar fate

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Your WhatsApp account can be deleted (Image: WHATSAPP • GETTY)

Google just changed its terms and conditions, meaning it can now delete Gmail, Photos, and Drive accounts from its online servers without user consent. This update went into effect this month and anyone who has not used their account for a long period of time is at risk of losing their content.

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

As long as you use your account, you will not be affected by these new changes, but it may affect some who do not have regular access to their online lives.

Google says it is introducing the updated policy in an effort to rid its servers of accounts and files that have been dormant for several 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.

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The billions of users may not be aware of these rules, but a quick dive into WhatsApp’s terms and conditions reveals that the Facebook-owned company can delete accounts if they’re inactive for a certain amount of time.

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

In a post on its website, the chat app says: “In order 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 that the user has not connected to WhatsApp.”

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

“An internet connection is required to make an account active. If a user has WhatsApp open on their device but does not have an internet connection, the account is inactive,” explains WhatsApp.

While this may sound a bit scary, you can re-register your device if your account has been deleted.

WhatsApp says any content stored locally on a user’s device before the account was deleted will be kept until WhatsApp is removed from the device.

When a user re-registers for WhatsApp on the same device, their locally stored content reappears.

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I work as the Content Writer for Gaming Ideology. I play Quake like professionally. I love to write about games and have been writing about them for two years.

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