Google Introduces New “After – Life” Data Feature
April 12, 2013 – If you ever wondered what will happen to your Facebook, LinkedIn or YouTube accounts once you have left this world, you can put your worries to rest. Google has just introduced a novel tool that will allow users to either have their account closed or passed onto a close relative. In this way, the data is either destroyed or stored in a secure place for safekeeping.
One of the options allows users to automatically delete their accounts after three, six or nine months of inactivity. However, to avoid any misunderstandings, the company said it would text a provided number or email a secondary email address to warn users before any action is taken.
Other companies have also attempted to tackle the questions that raises after a person’s death. Facebook, as an example, allows users to “memorialise” an account.
Google however becomes the first to come out and deal directly with this issue after internet users across the world have expressed their concern for privacy and security of their data posted or uploaded to the cloud after their passing or death.
The Internet giant Google, based out ouf California, also owns YouTube, photo-sharing service Picasa and Blogger.
When presenting the new tool, a company rep commented “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.”
The new tool has been curiously dubbed with the offical name of Inactive Account Manager and the service is appropriately referred to as Digital Estate Management.
Useful Terms to Learn
to wonder: (v.) to ask yourself, to think about
to put your worries to rest: (v.) to place your anguish aside, to stop worrying, to have no more concerns
safekeeping: (n.) secure storage or custody
misunderstanding: (n.) confusion or lack of understanding
to attempt: (v.) to try
to tackle: (v.) to deal with, to handle, to resolve
to memorialise: (v.) to commemorate
to upload: (v.) to transfer computer data
the cloud: (n.) a colloquial term that refers to “the internet”
a company rep: (n.) a representative of a company or firm
to be dubbed with: (v.) to be honorably named
Digital Estate Management: (n.) managing of one’s estate (patrimony), in this case the electronic data stored in a digital account