“I leave all my personal data to my beloved Google”… This could be your final wish when you decide to disconnect from the digital world forever, or when you are physically “disconnected” by the real world.
In either case, Google is giving you the right to decide what happens to your ‘online self’.
On Thursday, the US company introduced a new tool called Inactive Account Manager. The tool lets you inform Google what you want done with all your data stored in its network after you die or when you stop using your account for a long period of time.
The tool works like a will for your digital assets. Google’s Product Manager Andreas Tuerk wrote in a blog post that “not many of us like thinking about death — especially our own”. She added: “But making plans for what happens after you’re gone is really important for the people you leave behind. So today, we’re launching a new feature that makes it easy to tell Google what you want done with your digital assets when you die or can no longer use your account.”
Options over what to do with your Gmail messages, Google+ profile data, Blogger posts, Drive files, Picasa albums, Google Voice data and YouTube videos are being offered to all users. Pick which data you want retrieved and Google will send them to your “trusted contacts.”
Your loved ones will then receive all the data from your online life. The new settings also offer the option to select when Google can delete your data. After an account is inactive for a certain period of time (3, 6, 9 or 12 months) your data can be deleted. This way Google can remove inactive accounts without having to worry about the possibility of frustrating users.