Gmail, and it’s associated google account have been permanently deactivated. But it was no easy feat, and there were some disturbing surprises during this battle…
Let’s start off with the preparations that were made before even thinking about hitting the big red deactivation target.
All messages in the Gmail account (2004) have been scanned for sign-up and /or confirmation mails for online services such as blog subscriptions, e-commerce sites, social networks etc..
This resulted in a list of 70 candidates for migration. Of these 70:
- 10 accounts were classified as false positive.
- 7 accounts were classified as not recoverable, for various reasons
- 8 accounts were deactivated!
- for 31 accounts the old credentials were registered in keepass for future reference. For each of these accounts deactivation was not possible! At least no more spam from these sources
- Only 14 accounts were classified as valuable, and have been migrated to Yavin4.
Let’s highlight two troves of liberated personal data during this process:
In 2010 I enabled Latitude to investigate what this feature was about. Played around with it a bit, but then was stupid enough to forget all about it. Nonetheless, the servers at Googleplex have been diligently collecting and profiling my location data ever since, as I stumbled upon the Latitude Dashboard.
Google calculates how much time I spend at home, at work and out, analyses when I’m on a trip.
Whoops; Delete all History. Disable.
The other trove of information was liberated from afaspersonal.nl (Yunoo.nl when I signed up). At this convenient online service I have uploaded my bank statements for a duration of about two years to gain insight in my financial situation… But to their merit, it was one of the few services that made it clear and easy to deactivate.
No thank you! Luckily GnuCash has been identified, and is in use as a great offline alternative.
Before moving on to permanet deactivation of Gmail, backup measures were implemented for Yavin4. Instructions for a cheap and reliable offsite encrypted backup solution that is stored in Amazon s3 can be found here.
After all these precautions, it was time for the kill. All it took was one push on the big red button..
and confirming 11 checkboxes,
and typing in my password for the last time.