On Saturday I noticed that over the years I've had three different ICQ accounts - I used to use one on my desktop, laptop and another for server monitoring. My 'old' desktop one I kept, and still use. The other two are no longer required - and haven't been used in nearly 2 1/2 years. Logic would have dictated that these entries would have been automatically purged from the ICQ database (otherwise think of the clutter; each record will usually hold around 4 - 5Kb of data from the profile, multiplied by dormant accounts...). I know disk space is cheap, but even so ... So, I searched the ICQ site, and knowledge base for a way to delete the old accounts and got no information. As a last resort, I opened a Tech Support ticket (here is the current transcript, just for the hell of it - the ICQ tech's name has been changed to preserve his identity).  

  Original Message I have just realised I have two old ICQ accounts (and this one - making three). How can I delete the two old ones? Posted on Jan 23 2006 5:41AM Hi Michael, Many thanks for your response - I have modified the content held in the directory for the two old accounts, however, I'm still amazed about the lack of provision for terminating dormant accounts. Not only does this demonstrate insane database management, let alone totally thoughtless regard for system maintenance. I can understand the legal position for retaining account data in case of prosecution, however, I believe provision should still be made for disabling / terminating accounts so that they do not appear in the public directory (and eventually automatically purged from the database). In my opinion, this breaches the UK / EU Data Protection Act 1998; you are holding information that could be classed as personal and not providing means to update or delete the data held. (If you are holding accounts from a legal point of view, surely you are still holding the 'old' information from the two records I'm talking about - otherwise there would be no legal advantage.) Regards, Andy Neillans ICQ Supporter: Michael Posted on Jan 23 2006 3:11AM Hello Andy Neillans, We apologize but such an option is unavailable. For our Terms of Service, please read http://www.icq.com/legal/. Thank You, The ICQ Support Team. Posted on Jan 22 2006 10:29AM That doesn't quiet give the desired solution; it still leaves the records 'active'; and in the ICQ directory. Is there no provision to totally delete a registration? ICQ Supporter: Michael Posted on Jan 22 2006 5:54AM Hello Andy Neillans, To remove all details from an ICQ number, please follow the instructions below: - Click the 'Main' menu button -> View/Change My Details. - Click on a subject from the list on the left and remove the details. - Click 'Apply' after having entered the changes. - Click 'OK'. In case you do not remember your password, please click here: http://www.icq.com/password Other ICQ users that have your ICQ number on their Contact List will have to update your details, by clicking on your name and choosing "User Details/Address Book" and then clicking "Get details from the ICQ directory". Thank You, The ICQ Support Team.  

As you can see, it would appear they do not ALLOW deleting old accounts - and they seem to site legal reasons. Interesting. Anyone thinking invasion of privacy? Breach of Data Protection Act? If they are holding the account for legal reasons, what's to say they don't hold the conversations? (If so, what about SecureIM conversations?). I'm starting to dislike ICQ. A lot.