Google Gets Into The Digital Afterlife Business

The clumsily-named (by one exec's own admission) Inactive Account Manager will take action on a user's Google footprint if they haven't logged in within a specified period of time.

What's the Latest Development?


To the growing number of companies offering services to handle the digital records of the deceased, add one more: This week Google launched Inactive Account Manager, which, as the name describes, lets users determine what will happen to their Google-based data after a predefined period of inactivity. The information -- which can range from Google+ contact lists to Gmail e-mails to Picasa photo albums to YouTube viewing history -- can either be deleted or sent to "trusted contacts." All of this has to be set up by the user themselves while they're still alive; it can't be done after the person is dead.

What's the Big Idea?

The concept of Internet immortality has been questioned for some time now, and various efforts have appeared to give users more control over their online footprints both while they're alive and -- for relatives and friends -- after they're dead. With regards to the deceased, survivors continue to encounter problems with accessing and closing accounts, with some having to resort to a court order. For this reason a service like Inactive Account Manager should be placed in the same category as wills and life insurance: a tool used to "make life easier for your loved ones after you've gone," says Google's Andreas Tuerk.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at The Guardian

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

4 reasons Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for universal basic income

In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.

(Photo by J. Wilds/Keystone/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
  • The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
  • Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
Keep reading Show less

Why avoiding logical fallacies is an everyday superpower

10 of the most sandbagging, red-herring, and effective logical fallacies.

Photo credit: Miguel Henriques on Unsplash
Personal Growth
  • Many an otherwise-worthwhile argument has been derailed by logical fallacies.
  • Sometimes these fallacies are deliberate tricks, and sometimes just bad reasoning.
  • Avoiding these traps makes disgreeing so much better.
Keep reading Show less

Why I wear my life on my skin

For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.

Videos
  • In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
  • This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
  • Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
Keep reading Show less