Friday, April 12, 2013
Google has become the first Internet company that deals with digital assets to allow its users to control the disposition of their data after their death. Google has introduced a new dashboard, which can be found here, that will allow its user to decide what should happen to their data when they pass away or even if they become incapacitated. The dashboard's feature will allow a user to delete their data belonging to all of Google's social media websites "after three, six, nine or 12 months of inactivity." A user could also choose one or even more users to inherit their data. Google calls the new dashboard its "'Inactive Account Manager.'"
Unfortunately, the new option does not allow its user to control the disposition of their accounts after their death only the data. So, think of it in this manner. A user can only transfer their emails, not the ability to email from their account.
See Geoffrey A. Fowler, Google Lets Users Plan 'Digital Afterlife' By Naming Heirs, Wall Street Journal, Apr. 11, 2013.