Later this week, Yahoo users will receive a new functionality in their inbox, with a button being added titled “Not My Email.” As its name suggests, this allows individuals to respond to messages with a simple notification that the intended recipient no longer has the email address, and follows the company’s decision this summer to recycle old email addresses.
Earlier this year, Yahoo announced that it would be deactivating email account that hadn’t been used in a certain duration of time, freeing up options for those who want to actively use the service but found it difficult to choose a name that hadn’t already been taken. Such a move caused fears of identity theft, something Yahoo said it was “going to extraordinary lengths” to avoid.
This new feature will be the digital equivalent of stamping “Wrong address” across a physical letter, and serves to aid recipients of recycled Yahoo emails in notifying those who message them intending to contact the original owner. With the feature, the inbox will begin blocking messages not intended for the new user without that user ever receiving them. The functionality likewise follows reports that have surfaced since the first round of recycling showing that new recipients have received emails intended for original owners.
Yahoo has several other steps it plans to take and has taken to help address concerns regarding the business move, including notifying other services (Google, Amazon, etc.) about which email addresses have been recycled. Email addresses that fall under this category are automatically unsubscribed from subscription messages, helping to keep information private and avoid flooding new owners with spam and unwanted messages.