mailMicrosoft is under fire for failing to adequately warn users that their email address could be recycled if it becomes inactive.

The company’s Service Agreement tells users to sign in “a minimum of every 270 days” or their account may be cancelled and their data deleted. However, there’s more: Microsoft tells PC World that inactive user accounts are “made available again” for any user to register 360 days after deletion. That’s not listed in the Service Agreement, although it is mentioned on some Microsoft forums.

Yahoo was criticized for recycling user email addresses this summer, with privacy groups claiming the move was aimed at wooing users at the expense of possible security issues for those whose email addresses are unknowingly lost to others. Microsoft, though, appears to be enabling this without properly informing its users.

➤ Microsoft is quietly recycling Outlook email accounts [PC World]

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