With the proliferation of social media and our increasing use of things like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ the question about what happens to all that information after we pass on from this world is one that we really need to deal with just as we do with out real world possessions.
This is a question that has come up many times over the years since the rise of social media: What happens to all those social media accounts and the information on them after we die?
After all, much of our lives are now documented to the Nth degree on everything from Twitter to Instagram and Facebook to Gmail, but how often do you consider what is going to happen to all of it after you have passed from this world?
It is also a subject that the social media services themselves have obviously been considering, and Google has announced that they are going to help you with that planning with their new Inactive Account Manager. The settings are found on your account settings page, and will provide users with various options of what should be done with their account should it be inactive for an extended period of time.
Unlike most settings pages, this one is pretty simple, you select a timeout period – three, six, nine, or twelve months of inactivity – at which point Google can be directed on what to do with your Gmail contents, Blogger posts, Google+ account, Contacts, and YouTube accounts. This is done by Google sending out a text message and email to a secondary address that you supply, and if you don't respond it will assume that you have passed away.
Now if you want to save all that data you can have the service notify up to 10 people you want to have access to the data of your inactive account. Google will ask for verification details for those listed – such as an email address or phone number. Then when you are ready, you can let those people know that you have entrusted them with your electronic possessions on Google after you pass away.
via Ars Technica