I have a Gmail account but don't use it. How does that impact my privacy

I have a Google Account, but don’t use it. I only log into it once a month just to keep it active, but I use Proton Mail and Mega for my online needs. I’m conxerned about how having a Google account affects my privacy from big tech, even if I don’t use my account.

I’m concerned about Google using my account as an identifier to link data from google analytics to. They can link my online activites to my account and use that for ads, even though I don’t use Google services. Concerned about Google linking data from Google Analytics to my Gmail…

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You could just delete this account if you’re not using it and are worried about Google using it for tracking purposes.


I do not have a reference but Google will deactivate your account after two years of inactivity.
I have some old accounts which I have not accessed from my new home. I use old phones to do google stuff with those old phones in a safe manner.


It was first announced in mid may of this year. This is the latest news article about it that I can find:


I think it’s likely that Google has an identifier for you whether you have a Google account or not. However, you do provide extra information that Google wouldn’t necessarily have if you didn’t make the account. Even you logging in to keep it active gives Google an IP address from which you logged in, and that would be something to consider depending on how much information you want to keep away from Google.

If you don’t really give any info to Google through the Google account, then you’re good there. If you use privacy protecting techniques when browsing the web like a private browser or uBlock, then you’re taking action on Google tracking on the rest of the web. I would mark this as not a big concern, but at the same time it seems like you could delete the account and reduce your worry.

I have the same setup as you. I only use my Google account for Google Voice, nothing else. I use Outlook for my email instead of Gmail.

My biggest concern is Google having data on my interests and hobbies from when I used to use Gmail for personal emails. How can I try to overwrite this data? Or try to get rid of it, almost like a fresh start when you create a new Google Account, without having to delete my existing account?

Interesting. It used to be 9 months, but apparently I read that people complained 9 months was too punishing.

Several of my Google Accounts were inactive for more than 9 months.

My process to move away from Google has been to purge all data that you can delete. Mail, files, etc. Basically your Google drive will be empty and you will have no mail.
Go through your account and delete all non required data. Any required data you falsify. This may be an opportunity to use this account for an alias.

Log into every account which you used gmail to log in and change your email address to a new email address. While I am at it I change the password.

Not going into keeping or deleting or what to do if you can not change the email address, I keep the account active.

Occasionally I log in and check the email, any newsletters or accounts that pop up that I forgot about I will probably have to request a password reset. When you stop getting mail that connects to your real PII then your way ahead of myself.

I would say after a year of not getting an email which connects to your real life then check out those services and start spamming yourself. Let that ride until you inbox looks like a Yahoo inbox from the 1990’s and let it deactivate.
This could be a three year process. For myself I had accounts associated with gmail from 2007, slow and steady.

Edit: I did a little looking at articles about Google deactivating accounts, due to inactivity. Most articles were about how to keep your account active. I assume having a monthly transaction like MySudo accepting payment would be enough.
Something to consider, students and business accounts will not be deactivated due to inactivity.
Perhaps not using Google for two years would be better than deleting your account. Google may consider you deceased. IDK