Google Gmail Deleted Email Policy Overview
With the popularity of its Gmail service, Google has insight into the personal lives of millions of people around the world. Much attention has already been given to Gmail for how it uses the contents of user email accounts to serve up targeted advertising. A growing number of people, however, seem to be concerned about what happens to deleted user emails or data associated with closed accounts.
Perhaps the reason many people believe that Google retains deleted information forever lies in the vagueness and ambiguity of the Google position on the subject. In its latest data retention policy, Google states that it keeps multiple copies of user emails in case it becomes necessary to restore them. Google goes on to state that deleted mail and deleted accounts will remain in their system for "some limited period of time" before being removed. Google goes on to assert that it takes measures that are "reasonable" to quickly remove deleted information from their servers.
Google does not define what a "limited" period of time may be (after all, is not all time limited?) and it does not define what efforts it considers "reasonable." For that matter, Google does not define "quickly" either.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Sasa Stefanovic