business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The Washington Post reports that Google has introduced a new tool ... one that, to be honest, I never even thought that I would need.

It is designed to allow people to control the data linked to people's accounts after they die.

According to the story, "the Inactive Account Manager ... gives Google users the option to have information from inactive accounts wiped from the system ... Those who use the Inactive Account Manager can choose to have their data deleted three, six, nine or 12 months after it becomes inactive. Users can also select 'trusted contacts' to receive information from various Google services such as Blogger, Gmail, Picasa Web Albums, Google Voice and YouTube."

Now, it is true that circumstances other than death could lead people not to access their accounts for a long period of time. But it never occurred to me that I ought to think about what happens to my digital info once I kick the bucket.

I also did not know that Facebook "allows users’ family members or friends to memorialize Facebook pages of those who’ve died. Once an account is memorialized, no one can log into it and the account will not accept new friend requests. Facebook also removes the profiles of deceased people from its suggested lists of 'People You May Know'."

As I said, I never really thought about this before. Though I must admit that I thought the other day about recording a FaceTime video commentary that would only be released upon my death. (Assuming something happens unexpectedly.)

I'm gonna have to give this some consideration...
KC's View: