Google has unveiled a very useful tool for its users that can notify unto 10 trusted people that you have either died or been inactive for unusual amount of time.
The new tool is called the Inactive Account Manager and can be accessed via your Google Settings. Once set up it can give upto 10 trusted people access to your Gmail messages and data from various Google accounts like +1s; Blogger, Contacts and Circles, Drive, Gmail, Google+ Profiles, Pages and Streams, Picasa Web Albums, Google Voice and YouTube. You can also personalize the message that you send to people with additional information for other areas of your digital world like:
I really think this is a great idea as to be honest, most of us never really give any thought as to what would happen to our emails or other data that is tied to our Google accounts should we die or are no longer able to use our account. Settings up the service is very simple, although I actually found it pretty strange creating a personal message to some of my friends informing them of what to do with my data after the fact. However I did also include some other things that aren’t attached to my Google account that you may also want to think about:
- Passwords for all your encrypted drives/computers that contain all your images and other data
- Your personal websites/blogs admin details (also include instructions on how to access 2FA code)
- List of friends to be notified
- Who gets your Star Trek bluray collection/camera/computer/TV/Money/other stuff
I know that some people may simply dismiss this tool from Google, but it does bear thinking about those you leave behind, in the sense that they may wish to keep emails or conversations that your shared or just simply look at your images. With the amount of time that a lot of us invest online these days and the amount of information we share, it’s kind of nice to think that some of what we did may still go on. If sharing your data is something that you really don’t want to happen when you die, then you can also opt for Google to delete your account once a certain persiod has passed. In either case, you will be sent an SMS and email (to your backup account) prior to any action being taken just in case you are alive and kicking still.
You can set the trigger-time for the emails to be sent out as well to either three, six, nine or 12 months. Also, you can delete trusted people from being notified as and when you wish, along with editing the personalized message as well, which is great as people constantly drift in and out of our lives as well as their contact information.
There are some notable things missing though from what your trusted contacts can access. Google Music, books and movies that you had paid for are not included, which is will be a very contentious issue for many people, myself included. A spokesman for Google commented on this saying:
Digital content purchased on Google Play is licensed to the individual account holder personally. These rights end on the death of the account holder, and there is currently no way of assigning them to others after the user’s death
Maybe in the future, this stupid policy will be lifted as law makers stop taking their instructions from corporations. The other notable item missing are apps that you may have for your mobile device.
Below is what the Inactive Account Manager from Google looks like as well as a brief description for each step.
I’d love to hear what any of you think about this tool from Google and if you will either use it, or have ever given any thought of what happens to your data after you have died.