Google’s new Inactive Account Manager lets users plan for digital afterlife

Worried about what will happen to your digital presence after your death? Well, so is Google...

Worried about what will happen to your digital presence and data after your death? Well, so is Google and the company has now unveiled a service designed to manage the accounts of people after their time in the world ends.


Called the Inactive Account Manager, the service offers users of Gmail, Drive, Google+, Picasa and other Google services a template which can be filled up with details of what should happen in the event you die or become inactive for a specified period of time.


"Not many of us like thinking about death — especially our own," Product Manager Andreas Tuerk wrote in a blog post. "But making plans for what happens after you're gone is really important for the people you leave behind. So today, we're launching a new feature that makes it easy to tell Google what you want done with your digital assets when you die or can no longer use your account."

 Google’s new Inactive Account Manager lets users plan for digital afterlife

Now, also managing your afterlife



The Inactive Account Manager can be found in your account settings page and you can choose whether to have your data erased after your death or alternatively, you can make it available to pre-specified trusted contacts. The settings also let you choose when Google deletes your data. Users can ask Google to erase data if the account is inactive for three, six, nine or 12 months.


For Google, the Inactive Account Manager is a way to free up space on their servers without breaking a trust agreement with their users. It's also a way to address privacy and security concerns of people who would be worried about their private photos, videos and messages that could leak out to the world after their death. 


And if some casual Google users who have signed up for the Inactive Account Manager service are having second thoughts about their account being erased, then they can put a stop it before it’s too late. Before the deletion of the data, Google will notify account holders via text message and email to a designated address.


 “We hope that this new feature 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,” Tuerk added.

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