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Don’t delete your Yahoo account if you cherish your name or reputation


Now here’s a bizarre thing. Apparently, according to the cancellation terms and conditions posted on the Yahoo! site, if you delete your account, not only do you lose ALL of your Yahoo! content, including your Flickr photos and paid accounts, but the company also reserves the right to re-issue your Yahoo! ID and profile names to any else who comes along later.

“Additionally, due to the limited number of names available, we may allow other users to sign up for and use your current Yahoo! ID and profile names after your account has been deleted.”


So let’s get this straight. You delete your Yahoo! account and it immediately becomes available for any spammer, scammer, stalker, moron or jackass to register and use as they think fit? Really? Sure that’s not so bad when your account name is [email protected], but there are a ton of people with specific and identifiable names, not to mention small businesses. What happens when someone dies or when a firm goes out of business?

We may be missing something here, but this seems like one of the most bizarre things we’ve heard for a long time, and something which is potentially open to massive abuse if people aren’t careful. We’re getting to the stage now where the early Internet users are starting to age, so it’s quite likely that over the coming years more of them will relinquish their accounts either voluntarily or involuntarily. This clause causes concerns.

It could be said that the situation is similar to domain names, which become open to all immediately after being de-registered, but perhaps there should be different criteria applied to something like an email account…at the very least a period of time during which that address can’t be registered again? The implications for online banking logins alone is significant, surely?

Does any other massive online service do this?

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