/ Gmail: Move to trash becomes Delete!

Gmail silently renamed “Move to trash” to “Delete” in the “More Actions …” dropdown earlier this week. Is this a concession to the demands for a Delete button? Maybe it’s a first step. Most probably not, since a real first step would have more likely been a “Move to trash” button.

This does not mean however that e-mails that are “deleted” are gone forever. The Gmail Privacy Policy (as of October 14, 2005) still states that your e-mails may remain in their backups:

You may organize or delete your messages through your Gmail account or terminate your account through the Google Account section of Gmail settings. Such deletions or terminations will take immediate effect in your account view. Residual copies of deleted messages and accounts may take up to 60 days to be deleted from our active servers and may remain in our offline backup systems.

This however shouldn’t be confused for some sort of conspiracy theory where Google is hording your e-mails for future nefarious use. Rather, as anyone whose made backups will tell you, once something’s been backed up, it’s stored away. You don’t normally go updating data in backups. Now, whether or not they flush old backups is another issue altogether.


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