Google has introduced new rules for its online apps which could see users’ accounts deleted without permission.
The US technology giant changed its terms on 1 June, allowing the company to delete accounts and remove content without needing approval from the account owner.
The new storage policy will affect anyone with a Google account who is signed up to Gmail, Drive - including Google Docs and Sheets - and Photos.
However, users’ content will only be removed if their accounts and files have been dormant for two years, or if they have exceeded their storage limit for that amount of time.
Users were first warned about the changes, which won’t come into force until 1 June 2023, late last year.
Users will be informed before content is deleted
In an email, Google informed users “all of your content may be removed” through new storage policies which bring the company “in line with industry practices”.
It said: “If you're inactive for two years 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 two years, we may delete your content across Gmail, Drive and Photos.”
Google has said it will get in contact with users who have not used those online apps a number of times before deleting any content.
The firm also brought another change on 1 June that affects Google Photos.
Users will now have a 15GB allowance for all images, including high-quality ones, meaning they will have to pay to add more storage through Google’s One service.
Google previously allowed its Photos users to upload as many pictures as they wanted free of charge.
Now people will have to pay at least £1.59 per month for extra space. Prices go up to £7.99 for a full 2TB of space.