I’ve just read a really thought provoking article online called “Who owns your digital afterlife?“
When Iranian American author Marsha Mehran died suddenly in 2014, her father had to go through a lengthy fight to get hold of any of his late daughter’s saved files. He said, “I wanted to know if Marsha left any notes, anything about her sickness, or about what was going on in the last year or two,” said Abbas Mehran. “What’s the difference between the notebook my daughter left for me, with all the secrets of life, and the digital account that Google has?”
It really made me think: if something happened to me, how would Michael access the websites I manage, my email accounts, anything that I take care of? Similarly, if I didn’t handle any of Michael’s admin, and he was in charge of his own digital manuscripts, how would I access them if anything happened to him?
If you’re an author or a writer, it may be something to think about; what do you want to be private and what do you want to be public after you die? Apparently, “Some companies, such as Yahoo, destroy everything and reveal nothing after a user dies. Others take a case-by-case approach. Facebook and Google now have online tools that allow users to choose their digital heirs and how much they want preserved or deleted upon death.” Source
I found the below video really helpful and I will now be making steps to ensure that if anything should happen to me, that Michael can access any of my files, sites or email accounts that he’d wish to.
Let me know if you have any thoughts on this. I know that death is a tricky subject, but unfortunately is one that we cannot avoid.