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April 12, 2013

GAME OVER: "Google releases tool to deal with your data after death"


What took so long?

Google's new Inactive Account Manager will clean up after you depart this mortal coil.


Below, excerpts from Hayley Tsukayama's Washington Post story .

You may be a stickler for keeping control of all the data in your many online accounts, but what will happen to that data after you die?

It's a question that Google's addressing with the announcement of a new tool, the Inactive Account Manager, that 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.

Accounts become inactive when users haven’t logged in for a certain amount of time, meaning that events other than death could trigger the notifications. According to Google, users can set their own "timeout" period, and then will receive a text message and e-mail to a secondary account when the company deems the account is no longer active.

Users can find the tool on their account settings page, under the heading "Account Management."

Finding a way to deal with social networking and other data has been a much-discussed topic as people put more of their data online.

Facebook, for example, 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."

Content on the profiles of people who've died remain open using the privacy settings users set when they posted the information. To obtain other information from these accounts, Facebook requires a court order.

Family members, the company has said, can request that profiles be removed.

April 12, 2013 at 08:01 PM | Permalink


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Yeah. Some lady is fighting to have access to her deceased son's Facebook account. At one time, she could at least look at his photos. Then the account shut down and she can't have any access to it. So these legal issues are surfacing.

Posted by: Bubbub | Apr 16, 2013 12:47:11 PM

aaah.....A bit of Hamlet for breakfast.

Posted by: Bobit | Apr 13, 2013 9:54:32 AM

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