Google lets users pass on digital assets after death
Part of Google's Inactive Account Manager is seen on Thursday, April 11, 2013.
Published Thursday, April 11, 2013 8:17PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, April 12, 2013 12:05PM EDT
We’ve all been told to make plans for who gets our assets after we die. Now a new Google feature makes it easy to include our digital assets in those plans.
The company on Thursday launched Inactive Account Manager, a tool that lets users tell Google what to do with Gmail messages, as well as data from its other services like Google Drive, if their account becomes inactive due to death or other reasons.
“Making plans for what happens after you’re gone is really important for the people you leave behind,” product manager Andreas Tuerk said in a Google Public Policy Blog post announcing the feature.
So the company lets users decide in advance what should happen to their data after six, nine or 12 months of inactivity.
Users can select to have their data automatically deleted, or they can add up to 10 people to a contact list to receive Gmail messages and data from other Google services, including Blogger, Google+, Picasa and YouTube.
Google will send users a warning, either by cellphone or by emailing a secondary address, before taking any action when the pre-determined period of time has elapsed.
The feature is now included on the Google Account settings page.
“We hope that this new feature will enable you to plan your digital afterlife -- in a way that protects your privacy and security -- and make life easier for your loved ones after you’re gone,” Tuerk said.