|Google is quite
omnipotent, and has such powerful control over our everyday interactions
in the digital world today. Whether you choose to, or not, it is
likely you use a Google product almost every day, and probably multiple
Facebook announced some time
ago that they had introduced an option to facilitate an account being deactivated,
or memorialized, following the death of a user. This was in response
to legal issues they had faced regarding the mis-use, and access, of several
deceased user accounts.
Those at the Googleplex have
now modified their policy to deal with this same issue. What do you
want to happen with all your digital assets when you die?
Inactive Account Manager
Google have added a feature
called ‘Inactive Account Manager’ in the Google Account settings that enables
you to define what you want to happen with all your sensitive personal
digital assets and data should you no longer be around to control them.
It is probably something
that most people just do not think of, or really want to prepare for.
However, as we live more and more of our lives online and share and save
so much personal data digitally, it is essentially something that everyone
To delete, or not delete, that
is the question
The Inactive Account Manager
feature enables you to plan ahead and specify what will happen with all
your digital assets if your account becomes inactive. You basically have
the option to have all your data deleted or you can specify a recipient
who can receive some, or all of your data.
This effectively addresses
the issues Facebook has had where family of a suddenly deceased family
member wished to retain access to an account where many digital photos
If you use services such
as Gmail, Google+, Picasa, YouTube, or Blogger you may wish to ensure the
data you have uploaded is secured somehow for prosperity and your legacy.
How does it work?
Firstly you can choose to
specify how long a period of inactivity should elapse before your digital
assets are deleted or transferred – 3, 6, 9 or 12 months.
Nominate ‘trusted’ contact
Secondly, you can then select
whom you wish to receive your data, either from specific services or all
your Google products.
Lastly, do not be concerned
that if your Google Account is inactive for a period of time for another
reason your personal digital assets will be deleted or transferred.
Before any action is taken
the Google system will send a text to your cell phone and an email to your
secondary email address, giving you a chance to respond if you have just
been inactive without having deceased!
of the need to plan for the ‘digital afterlife’, in the wake of Facebook’s
own policies for memoralizing or deleting a deceased’s user account, highlight
how our preparations for our own personal legacies are changing as our
digital society evolves.
||Expert Author: Sara
Sara is the Editor in Chief
for US Funerals Online and has been researching and writing about the death
care industry in the US for the last 5 years.