NEW YORK: What Google has done, other email service like Yahoo should also do. They should allow users to leave their email accounts as inheritance for their loved ones after their death. After all, very few people write these days. Most correspondence is through email.
Accumulated over the years, these emails become the huge source of information about your loved ones. Of course, some of this information will be very private.
Google said Thursday that it is introducing a new feature called inactive account manager that will guide users as to what they can do about their “digital assets” when they die or are no longer using their account. One of the options available to them will be leave their their Gmail messages and Google+ profile to their loved ones as a digital inheritance.
In a Google public policy blog post on Thursday, Andreas Tuerk, Product Manager, said, “Not many of us like thinking about death — especially our own. 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.”
From their Inactive Account Manager on their Google Account settings page, users can Google what to do with your Gmail messages and data from several other Google services if your account becomes inactive for any reason.
Users can many options:
– Set the length of time – from three months to one year – before their account becomes inactive after the last sign-in.
– Leave your cellphone or secondary email where Google will alert you that time limit is coming to an end.
– Tell Google who among your trusted contacts/relatives should receive data from some or all of the following services: +1s; Blogger; Contacts and Circles; Drive; Gmail; Google+ Profiles, Pages and Streams; Picasa Web Albums; Google Voice and YouTube.
– Or tell Google to delete the account on your behalf.
“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,” Google public policy blog post said.
Interestingly, Facebook and Twitter allow people a number of options as to what should be done with the account of a deceased person. In case of Facebook, people must provide the name of user account of the deceased and the proof of death. You do not need to be a family member to access the account upon death.
Another option is to turn the account into a memorial site.