Data After Death

 Have you ever wondered what happens to your data after you die?

digital-willI remember few weeks ago I was discussing this with my friends, who were not very happy to hear me discuss what I want them to do when I die. But really with all our online activities what do you think will happen to your twitter, facebook, emails, instagram etc. accounts when you’re gone?! Well, I still want you to tag and mention me (just kidding).

Today, we live in two worlds: One in the real world and one is the virtual world. Therefore, Google doesn’t want you to worry about what happens to your online self when you die. An Inactive Account Manager has been launched and that lets you tell Google what you want to be done with your data hosted on its network after you die, or stop using your account for a long period of time. We have pictures, videos, documents, emails, texts, online profiles, status updates, tweets, and whatever else floating around online. Maybe you don’t care what happens to all this data after your gone and that’s a valid argument, but this will make it harder for our loved ones and friends, who will be the ones shutting down accounts, downloading pictures of memories with you, and other sad things we don’t like to think about …

With this new feature from Google, you can choose a particular “time-out period” and if the account is not used for the time mentioned, Google will send out notifications. If there is still no response, Google will forward all correspondence, mails, videos, pictures, etc to up to 10 people (trusted email addresses listed) informing them on how to proceed.

“It used to be that we had scrapbooks or houses and passed them on after we died, but the more we value our digital archive, the more we want to pass it on and make sure it lives on after us — that the digital footprint we leave behind says who we are,” University of Maryland Professor Allison Druin told Russia’s RIA Novosti news service.

For your information, Google is not the first company to provide consumers with data solutions for the afterlife. Deathswitch sends out passwords, bank account information, final wishes, “unspeakable secrets”, love notes, even the last word in an argument to recipients specified by account holders when certain triggers are met. Also, LivesOn makes it possible by tweeting for you after you’ve died.

Google’s Inactive Account Manager – which some in the blogosphere have dubbed “data-after-death” – can be activated in Google users’ account settings.

I know not many of us like thinking about death. But thinking & planning for what happens after you’re gone is really important for the people you leave behind. So, have you created your digital will yet?! Will you create it?! What are your thoughts on this?

One thought on “Data After Death”

  1. Great article and purely a different thought. Thanks a lot for the information, especially for the links to DeathSwitch and LivesOn. It may help 🙂

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