Removing accounts after some time of inactivity and Recycling usernames are bad ideas.
Email is not only a communication tool, but probably more importantly an internet identity. People use their email to open accounts on websites. If an email address is deleted and reused by another user, then all personal data bonded with that email address is lost and at risk.
As I know gmail doesn't recycle email addresses. That's a considerate idea.
My protonmail account was deleted by protonmail. I have ( or had) two accounts with protonmail. One that I pay a fee monthly and a free one. I had the two accounts logged in my phone protonmail app. Somehow, the other day I discovered I had been logged out from my free protonmail account And now I can’t log in back. Ridiculous. I wish I had known about protonmail policy on free accounts beforehand and I wouldn’t even sign up for their paid service.
I tried for an hour to login to my protonmail account. I'm quite sure I got the credentials correct, but now I suspect they just deleted my account? WTF?
Definitely chose the wrong service!
My account removed because of inactivity -- the space I was taking was tiny.
How about setting policy on removing accounts that depend on size of the user takes. If you take no more than 1GB -- removing after 2 years of inactivity, 2 < size < 5 GB -- removing after a year of inactivity, size > 5 GB removing after 6 months of inactivity.
Current 3 months is ridiculous.
Email log in timed are no emails commented
No month log in should delete an email account. You hypicritics-! You have a monumentous mess! log in requirements are No email.
There is a lot of disinformation in this thread. The protonmail rep just said they do not recycle usernames so they do not close your account after a period of inactivity. Whether they purge it to free up space is another matter but text takes up hardly any space and 500mb is only getting smaller and smaller as storage space grows.Most accounts would use barely that so it is unlikely they would even care.
"Mortal Damm commented · May 17, 2015 2:55 AM
I agree, the accounts should be removed after 1 year of inactivity."
No. This is a terrible idea. This is how people get other stuff compromised when somebody else opens a account under the same name. If you don't want to use your email account anymore then purge it yourself then change the password to something extremely long and tough.
To the person who said you can't print, save, download your protonmail, you are talking shit. There are buttons to do that right inside your inbox when you are viewing your mail. And you don't want to export. That in itself is a vector to get your stuff stolen.
Kate DeAgano commented
Shuko, can you please tell me how you managed to close your Protonmail account?! I have never seen an email server, where there is no information on how to delete your account!!
Was forced to delete my Protonmail account. You can't print, download, or export emails, once you fill the tiny quota the only way to make space is delete all your other emails. Pointless account.
Sergey Andreevich Esipenko commented
Let users themselves decide about inactivity time in their account settings. Users must have two choose options:
1) Deleting account after some inactivity time
2) Do nothing after some inactivity time
Its the best way for ProtonMail!!!
Dont let users leave you in favor TutaNota!
Since this is completed, does this mean my "Recovery Account" won't be deleted if I don't login after five years as long as ProtonMail is alive?
I have a few accounts, one is for communication and the other is for recovery purposes (such as recovering a gmail account which was compromised).
There should be a paid option for life time accounts.
Some ideas follow,
- After a period of time, 1 year, as an example, email may be deleted.
- Maybe the unread emails can be deleted by date, oldest first, then in date order. Or by some priority mechanism, where emails from an inclusions list are not deleted. From family members, as an example.
- Another option is that the email header remains showing that there was an email and date, but the content of the email is deleted. This could continue until space is used up and then deletion occurring on a date, oldest first basis. Maybe this could be in place for a longer term, for example five years. In the case someone does return to the account then at the least they know people were attempting to contact them.
But the account is never deleted, especially if the option has been paid for.
No username recycling.
There have been times where I have been away from an email account for periods over nine months.
Darling, it is time to wake up. You had a very stupid dream.
Some use version numbering. John.Smith.13763@domain
No comment on removing accounts.
I think that an account can be deleted after some time, but NEVER recycle the username of the mail!!
And for the inactivity, i think that a good a time of inactivity is 5 years .
1) "When a ProtonMail account is closed, data is immediately deleted."
Okay, but there is no option available in the settings that would allow the user to Delete/Close their account.
2) "Accounts that are inactive for over 3 months may be automatically deleted "
Oh my god. Please don't do that. Or atleast make it 1 YEAR instead of 3 months. And the users must get reminder notification mails every week or so if they have not logged in for 8 months.
I am using Tutanota but have been tempted by the UI and usability factor of Protonmail. The only thing that is stopping me from moving is that you delete inactive accounts. Although I don't plan to NOT use my account, it seems rash to do so if for any reason I would be unable to access my account e.g. if I were in hospital or systems went down etc. With Tutanota I have the account permanently - whether I'm a premium user or a free user.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! This is a very BAD IDEA!!! If you Do this , i will change to another EMAIL PROVIDER!!!!!
I know plenty of people who go three months without logging in to their online accounts. There are people in this world who live rather "offline" lives, or who don't always compulsively check email, yet they still need to use email sometimes and don't deserve to lose their accounts so soon. Not everyone is a silicon valley office worker who's online all the time. Life doesn't revolve around computers for everyone.
Deleting accounts after only thee months is practically discrimination. People who don't own a computer due to poverty, or who are sick in the hospital, or who are victims fleeing abuse in a shelter, or who are in numerous other vulnerable situations, are all likely to go for extended periods without logging in to their email accounts. Their lives are hard enough without losing access to email.
When ProtonMail says they'll delete accounts after 3 months of inactivity, it implicitly sends a message that they don't trust their users and that they don't expect anyone to use the system long-term. In other words, it implies that ProtonMail doesn't actually believe you'll "settle in" and make this your primary email system for years and years to come; instead, it implies that ProtonMail thinks you're most likely going to forget about your account and move on to a different email platform. Thinking this way isn't healthy for ProtonMail; if they want people to use the system long-term, then they should be building it based on the assumption that people will indeed use it long-term.
In a way, it's as if ProtonMail is trying to save costs because they're not confident you'll love their product. There's this economic incentive to delete accounts perceived as "inactive" in order to not waste resources and money. However, competitors like Gmail have the same economic incentive to not waste resources, yet they still provide accounts that last forever. The difference here is that Google is confident you'll love their product so much that you'll commit to it and always come back, even if you go a long time with no activity; but ProtonMail isn't so confident, they think you'll forget about your account. If ProtonMail wants people to stay long-term, they should be more confident that people will stay and more forgiving of people who leave temporarily.
It's an issue of customer service and human emotions too. When an email provider deletes a user's account, the resources and costs are obviously saved for the provider, but the relationship between the provider and the customer is permanently ended. If the customer intentionally stops using his or her email account for good, then he or she may not care that the account gets deleted. But if the customer only temporarily stops using the account and intends to return again in the future, he or she would be disappointed to discover the account is totally gone and would likely seek out a different, more generous email provider to use from then on. Such a customer is also unlikely to recommend the former provider to friends or family.
Offering email accounts that expire after just 3 months of inactivity represents a fundamental misunderstanding about what people expect from email and is a sign that ProtonMail isn't able to meet people's diverse needs and to be their primary long-term email provider.
Some suggestions for ProtonMail to improve the inactive account policy:
- Significantly increase the amount of time before an account is considered to be inactive.
- Instead of deleting inactive accounts, put the data into "cold storage." This could be a system where user data is highly compressed, not as readily available as active user data, and not even backed up.
- Never delete an inactive account, only delete the data inside the account if absolutely necessary. Also, stop reserving disk space for that user and reject all incoming emails until the owner returns. This frees up disk space and leaves an empty account that's still usable if the owner eventually returns.
- Give users plenty of notice before deleting data by contacting them on their secondary email addresses.
"Accounts that are inactive for over 3 months may be automatically deleted."
Please consider altering that policy. Three months is way too short a time!
Why not 1 years instead of 3 months?
and how about a fee for a (forever account) $50.00 I can go for this.
I do not what to have one more reminders popping up telling me to review this that or any other thing. life is short and time fly's.
Markus Jansson commented
Why not make a compromise that would help both ProtonMail and users?
Keep all the data for ½ or 1 year after last login, after that, delete it all, but keep the account. After succesfull login the timer starts over. So, in essence, if user doesnt use he's account, the content of that account (email, contacts, etc.) gets wiped out to save space from the servers, but the actual account would still remain. This would allow him to use that account later on, ie, restore access to services used by that email account etc.
Thinking Person commented
@ Diego Otelo: Tutanota's idea makes perfect sense.
If for whatever reason Protonmail decides that inactive accounts should be cancelled (because they take up dead storage space, or whatever), then perhaps they should at least consider sending a warning notification soem time in advance to the user whose account is on the cancellation list.
in any case, a mere 3 months is a rather short time.
Please consider altering that policy. Three months is way too short an interval of time!
If people were more aware of this policy, I think they would protest it.
Please consider modifying your policy so that it creates more security for the end users.
(Why not 3 years instead of 3 months? Why not 7 years or 10 years?).