All the content in the blog is available free of charge and can be found in the menu to the left.
Please feel free to scroll down in order to become acquainted with all the content which might possibly be of interest or of service to you

04/02/2014

My Thoughts Regarding Google's Inactive Account Manager Service

In April 2013 Google launched a new service: Inactive Account Manager. I wrote about it here



At the time I only reviewed the service as-is. Now, as I had time to reflect on it, here are my thoughts: 

  • After a person dies, is it possible to contact Google and find out if he or she were registered to this service, as notifications are not sent during setup? 
    • If she or he were registered, is it possible to "speed things up"? - If a person chose to have his/her gmail account passed on to their spouse after several months, can their spouse get their copy of the account even if the allocated time has not yet fully passed?
      Obviously only upon proof of relationship plus death certificate plus access to the email account the deceased has specified for the download plus access to the phone number for a trusted contact the deceased provided, for example. But still - will Google allow it? Or must the spouse wait for the entire timeout period to pass?  
    • If Google do offer this check up, what should the family member do? Send a death certificate along with a query whether the deceased was registered? Is Google allowed to reveal this information? If so, to whom? And under what circumstances? 
    • If Google doesn't offer this check up option, or if the family is unaware of this service so they don't know they ought to look it up, does the family contact Google through "the usual channels" (detailed in the technical guide), only to find out after 3, 6, 9 or 12 months that the deceased had his/her own requests in this matter? Will Google alert them to the deceased’s registration for this service of their own volition?
  • Once you receive the email when the inactive account manager goes into action, is there a way to find out if there are other trusted contacts and/or who they are, and if so, how? (Google allows you to name up to ten trusted contacts when you set this up). 
  • Will Google prompt their users to use this service, like they prompt users from time to time to provide additional phone numbers / email addresses?
    Will they take it to the next level and insist their users use it? Like they insist users click on the "I read and agree to terms of use"? 

As some of you already know, as I express my opinion in this regard whenever I can, this is what I think Google should do: force their users to ponder their digital death and make a decision regarding their digital legacy, as most of them will not deal with it of their own volition, which is a pity. Once a person manages his or digital assets,: 1. His or her wishes will be carried out and 2. His or her loved ones will not have to go through the aches of wondering if they should or shouldn't access the deceased's digital realm, and if so, how. 

As far as I'm concerned, this solution isn't good enough because it doesn't let me choose whether I wish to bequeath my password or not: it decides for me that I can't. 

No comments:

Post a Comment