Requesting deletion of "free" email and chat accounts

Published: 2011-03-29
Last Updated: 2011-03-29 20:46:46 UTC
by Daniel Wesemann (Version: 1)
3 comment(s)

Past August, we ran a story about the dangers of abandoned email and chat accounts. Since then, we've been getting a steady trickle of requests from readers for advice on how to get a provider to delete an unused profile or address completely.

Reading the fine print of legalese is never fun, and therefore it's no surprise that many users apparently read the privacy policy of a "free" web site for the first time when they want to cancel the account. More often than not, they then find out that ... there is simply no way to back out. Or rather, that the legalese gives the provider ample rights to delete an account at any time, without warning, but that there is no way for an user to request such an action.

Today's question on the topic came from reader Mike, who tries to have his old and unused account properly closed and deleted. Not so easy, it turns out: The "support forum" on ICQ is full of users who post "please close my account" requests, but don't seem to be getting an answer or action. If you know an approach that works for ICQ, please comment below, or let us know via our contact page.


Keywords: privacy spam
3 comment(s)


While not directly related, I would be more concerned about someone activated old unused adress that still have trace somewhere in some system. (My personal password safe track more than 100 sites, I doubt they would all be changed if I ditch my email...)

If someone activate an old, unused email address,
it can be used to reset password on alot of places...
Some of the game companies probably do the same. Even when you buy a game on disk, many games require an on-line account activate the game and you have to be connected to the internet just to use the game. And the internet connection is even required to play even if you are only playing against the computer. "Steam" is a particular unfavorite of mine regarding this.

We found when trying to make a game my daughter has work that they do have a difficult and convoluted way to make it so that you do not have to have the Internet connection to play, but there was no click box to do so in the game options. And you have to open a bunch of firewall ports too and even their tech support did not have all of the ports correct the first time.
Got this from one of my AOL Managers:

If your inquiry relates to the deletion of an ICQ number, please note
such option is not available, however you may delete all user
information from an ICQ number by following the directions below(for ICQ

From the ICQ client (for ICQ 7):

* Click on 'Menu'
* Choose 'My Tools' and then 'Full Profile'
* When the Web browser is launched click 'Edit Profile'.
* On the bottom of the page click 'Clear All Details'

You must have access to your ICQ account in order to remove the details.
If you have forgotten or lost your password, you may try to retrieve it
by going to

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