Google Inactive Account Manager: Protecting Your Data After You Die
Google users can now manage their accounts to provide for digital closure if they should die.Google has created an "Inactive Account manager" tool to allow account holders to manage their digital lives, including the availability of their stored photos, videos, emails and more, in the event of death or long inactivity. The new tool was unveiled in an April 11 post by Andreas Tuerk, a Google product manager, on the Google Data Liberation Blog. "Not many of us like thinking about death — especially our own," wrote Tuerk. "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." Using the Inactive Account Manager, which is available through a user's Google settings page, will allow users to tell the company what to do with their Gmail messages and data from several other Google services if the account becomes inactive, whether due to a long period of inactivity or the user's death.
"For example, you can choose to have your data deleted—after three, six, nine or 12 months of inactivity," wrote Tuerk. "Or you can select trusted contacts to 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."