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Critics say recycling of old accounts could lead to identity theft

Web giant Yahoo has operated its own e-mail service (free and paid) for many years, and many of us at one point in time have owned (or still own) a Yahoo email address. As you can imagine, a huge number of people all around the world subscribed to Yahoo's services, used the accounts for a while, and then abandoned the account.

The problem for Yahoo and users who actually want to use the Yahoo e-mail service is that having millions of dormant accounts taking up usable names kept some people from using the e-mail service.
As a result, Yahoo announced that it plans to recycle inactive user IDs. Yahoo's plan would take any accounts that have been inactive for more than 12 months and make them available for use by other users.

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Privacy advocates are now rallying against Yahoo's plans saying that by recycling inactive user IDs, Yahoo could allow spammers and other nefarious users to assume the identity of the previous account holder. Yahoo says that it has safeguards in place and is coordinating with other web companies such as Google and Amazon to minimize any risk of identity theft.

"[The possibility of identity theft is] something we are aware of and we've gone through a bunch of different steps to mitigate that concern," said Dylan Casey, a senior director for consumer platforms. "We put a lot of thought, a lot of resources dedicated to this project."

Yahoo will also be unsubscribing inactive accounts from all mailing lists to prevent the new account holders from getting content they didn't ask for.

"Can I tell you with 100 percent certainty that it's absolutely impossible for anything to happen? No. But we're going to extraordinary lengths to ensure that nothing bad happens to our users," Casey added.

Source: Reuters

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Good idea..
By zhivaji on 6/20/2013 10:11:35 AM , Rating: 1

So many people have jumped ship from Yahoo mail to google / hotmail etc.. Why lock up their usernames ? Make them available to those who want them.. I'm sure there are so many Smith's and Kumar's out there who would want to have userids with their first name/last name combination

RE: Good idea..
By Ammohunt on 6/20/2013 10:18:07 AM , Rating: 1
Seriously? because if john smith 1 owns then yahoo recycles it jsmith 2 gets all of jsmith 1's emails and potentially chats. This is about as dumb as not allowing employees to work remotely. This new Yahoo CEO is not very bright.

RE: Good idea..
By kattanna on 6/20/2013 10:28:18 AM , Rating: 2
yep. if you havent logged into the account in over a full year, you have clearly shown you do not use it.

and if you have important accounts point to such an inactive account, then you get what you deserve.

RE: Good idea..
By Solandri on 6/20/2013 2:02:09 PM , Rating: 2
Yahoo requires you to sign up for their email to join their other services, like their email message lists. I'm on a couple Yahoo message lists (not my choice - the people who started them chose Yahoo to host their list), so I have a Yahoo email address.

But I never login to my yahoo account. I just set up my yahoo mail account to forward all mail to my real email address, and get my message list mails that way. I would be pretty upset if yahoo gave away my email address simply because I hadn't logged into it in ~8 years.

RE: Good idea..
By carigis on 6/20/2013 2:04:38 PM , Rating: 2
just log in once a year problem solved.

RE: Good idea..
By Azethoth on 6/20/2013 7:44:26 PM , Rating: 2
Better make it twice, so you get a 6 month margin for when the meteor strike comas you for a bit.

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