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Google launches 'Inactive Account Manager'

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#1 +techbeck

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 16:32


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Google has added a new way to control what happens to your account when you stop using it — most likely because you're no longer around. A new Inactive Account Manager, available in Google's settings, allows you to set a timeout period for your account. If you go three months to a year without signing in, Google will first notify a selected phone number or alternate email address. After that, it will let you add up to ten contacts, who will be notified with a custom-written email and optionally given access to data from any or all Google services. As a last step, Google can also delete your account once any contacts have been notified.

In a blog post, Google detailed how to plan for your "digital afterlife." It's not the first company to deal with what happens to data when you die, or to implement a kind of dead man's switch. Even if they have a policy in place, sites like Facebook must deal with how to adapt a running flow of information into a static memorial. But up until now, Google has relied on "authorized representatives" of the deceased to submit applications if they want access to a Gmail or other Google account. With the Inactive Account Manager, it's creating the online equivalent of a living will.




I was actually thinking about this the other day.


#2 Aheer.R.S.

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 16:51

As a last step, Google can also delete your account once any contacts have been notified.

As in, once one one has passed away?
I kinda get it, but I'd be worried about the information a next of kin, if applicable would get.
Maybe just a little paranoia on my part.

#3 Growled

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 01:39

I have an old account I don't use any more. I might give this a try on it.

#4 Nick H.

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 10:33

As a last step, Google can also delete your account once any contacts have been notified.

As in, once one one has passed away?
I kinda get it, but I'd be worried about the information a next of kin, if applicable would get.
Maybe just a little paranoia on my part.


According to the BBC article you can choose. Either your information can be deleted or it can be passed on to someone that you have delegated.

I can understand it for a few reasons, but at the same time I'm going to be dead, so why will I mind what information is found? Now, if Google could offer to delete my Internet browser history as well, that would be impressive and useful. :laugh: