With the recent changes to reputation gain from asking questions, I just received a whole bunch of reputation on StackOverflow, where I now have over 15k reputation. This now means I have access to the "Protect questions" privilege. However, I must admit, I have not been an active contributor to StackOverflow for a while, and I've become a more casual user on the site recently, only posting 3 questions and 1 answer there.
After thinking about this for a second, I thought it was kind of weird that I got this so to say "promotion" in privileges on the site, despite my inactivity there. In this case, it's a bit of an exceptional situation because of the changes in reputation, but still, my reputation has been trickling in for a while based on questions and answers posted there a few years ago.
So this caused me to wonder, why don't privileges depend on activity on the site you have privileges on? I mean, I am sure I won't abuse these rights at all, but I am very doubtful I have any legitimate use for them any time soon, and the only time I would be able to use them would be if I get more active on the site again. This is kind of with the idea of the Principle of Least Privilege in mind: inactive users have no legitimate use for some of the more powerful tools available to users with high reputation, so it would be better to remove those kinds of rights from those users.
I am in no way implying these users cannot be trusted; anyone who has at one point spent enough effort in a site to eventually get a high reputation will probably have the best interests at heart for the site. I'm just saying it's probably a better practice to only give access to some of the unlockable privileges for users who can constructively use them, and not to those who have no legitimate use for them.
With this, I don't mean that people who have not cumulated 15k reputation in the past 3 years should lose their privileges, I just think that it might be better if some of the privileges become temporarily locked if a user does not meet a level of current activity on the site, which would then easily be unlocked again by simply participating more actively.
More specifically, I am thinking of something that only locks privileges after a user has posted <10 questions and <10 review queues in the past 6 months or so, ie. something very easily reachable for anyone who is still in any way active on the site. And as soon as the user then reaches that level of activity again, the privilege lock would automatically be lifted again. Of course this is just a rough and very arbitrary amount, but it illustrates the rough idea I have about this. Also, my idea is that this would only apply to for example just the privileges that require >5000 rep, because the other ones are relatively harmless.
As indicated in this question's tags, this is mostly meant as a discussion. I'm wondering what others think about this, and if anyone else thinks this is something that might be useful to at least look into.
tl;dr: Should users who have high reputation privileges be restricted to only the users who have a legitimate use for them?