Google Inactive Account Manager Sets Your Data’s Fate

We always say that “the Internet is forever.” Everything we post online is etched in digital history for many generations to see. But you don’t want the online archaeologists of year 3000 uncover the crotch shots you’ve been sending through Gmail (judging you, to be honest).

Google has found a way to make your online data “die” along with your death, as it introduced the Inactive Account Manager that serves to “plan your digital afterlife.” Located in your Google Accounts settings page, the Inactive Account Manager allows you to choose whether you want to have all your data stored in Google, such as your messages in Gmail and Ghat, deleted after several months of inactivity. It also gives you the option to assign a trusted contact that would receive information–but not control of–your Google services like Google Drive, Blogger, Picasa, and YouTube among others.

Google is one of several online services that provides users the option of managing their online presence in the afterlife. There is also DeadSocial, which enables you to “post” messages (whether in text, video, or audio) on your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts after your passing. There is even a service called LivesOn that tweets on your Twitter account post-mortem, using your own likes and writing voice as its reference.

For Facebook, they allow people close to a deceased user to either delete the account permanently–along with thousands of duck face photos (still judging you)–or convert it into an online memorial, which would remove contact information and all status updates.

There services allows you to make your data return to digital dust just as you become dust. Now, if only you remember that you still haven’t deleted your Myspace account, where a lot of your embarrassing party photos still waiting to be unearthed in the year 3000.

Source: Google Public Policy, via ABC News

Photo source: 1000 Words /

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