Yahoo Criticized over Plan to Recycle Dormant User Accounts
June 20, 2013 8:44 AM
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Critics say recycling of old accounts could lead to identity theft
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.
[Image Source: Inquirer.net]
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.
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RE: more a user problem then yahoo
6/22/2013 3:15:02 AM
They have already done that.
ymail.com and rocketmail.com are also Yahoo Mail addresses.
This proposal is for cancelling all those accounts created by users who wanted to try it or needed a one off throwaway account or lost their password while their contact info was incorrect and thousands of other reasons for accounts being created and abandoned with no indication to Yahoo other than inactivity.
However on checking on their policies for free mail, I find that an account expires automatically if inactive for 6 months plus 2 months times for each year it was active up to the last recorded activity.
Other sources say 4 months flat
Yahoo itself says only that an inactive account WILL expire unless it is a YahooPlus account (I'm assuming that having it's payments current is a requirement to prevent conversion to FREE mail and then expiration)
From the Termination portion of the TOS: (e) extended periods of inactivity,
Going from 4 months to 12 months actually makes these throwaway accounts last longer. If 12 months is shortening the period then you really have to wonder where the other sites giving authoritative answers got their info from.
"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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