“We hope that this new feature [the Inactive Account Manager] will enable you to plan your digital afterlife–in a way that protects your privacy and security — and make life easier for your loved ones after you’re gone,” wrote Google product manager Andreas Tuerk in a blog post.
We live our lives today on the internet and in the cloud in ever more pervasive ways. This should not come as a surprise. After all, most of us walk around with the internet in our pocket 24/7 (and soon we may wear it as headgear, for those watching Google glasses with interest). What happens to our virtual life when our physical life is over?
What happens to everything on the cloud when you die?
From your personal information to Facebook accounts to iTunes collections, so much of it exists online. Until recently, there have been few solutions to the meticulous record keeping to keep everything straight, let alone remembered.
Recently, The Wall Street Journal reported in an article titled “Google Lets Users Plan ‘Digital Afterlife’ By Naming Heirs” that Google has become amongst the first and likely the largest company to offer users a proactive digital-estate planning tool - the “Inactive Account Manager.”
The important take-a-way is the importance of the planning. What about your other accounts and bits of data snaking across the web? What plans have you made to document your virtual life into the afterlife?
Reference: The Wall Street Journal (April 11, 2013) “Google Lets Users Plan ‘Digital Afterlife’ By Naming Heirs”