Google Is Prepared For Your Death

Fanghawk

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Feb 17, 2011
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Google Is Prepared For Your Death

In the event of an untimely demise, you can still decide what happens to your Google data.

Pending the discovery of a Fountain of Youth or consciousness-uploading technology, odds are about 100% that you are going to die one day. We don't have to think about it often, but we do like to be prepared: What do we want to have happen to our belongings? What do we want to leave behind for our loved ones? In a increasingly digital world, this is a complex question. Much of our identity is now tied to social networks and online accounts, locked behind passwords on various servers. Accessing that material after death requires a great deal of red tape, so Google is side-stepping the problem by letting users personally decide what happens when they kick the bucket. At that point, accounts can either be opened up to friends and family, or deleted outright if they so choose.

The service is called the Inactive Account Manager, a fairly sterile name (<a href=http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.ca/2013/04/plan-your-digital-afterlife-with.html>which Google fully admits) for a user-friendly process. Upon activating the Manager, account holders set an interval by which they can be considered inactive, with a max of twelve months. Once that interval is reached, up to ten trusted contacts will receive automated emails and texts informing them of what's happened. Trusted contacts can also be provided access to designated portions of the deceased's data, including everything from emails, blogs, phots, videos, and more.

This is a great common-sense solution to handling inactive accounts, but it's also rare to see online. Facebook's policy, for example, <a href=http://www.facebook.com/help/150486848354038/?q=death&sid=004TWIJIeYU3cN3GO>requires a family member to submit proof of death before the website will recognize the deceased and memorialize their timeline. Google's solution puts control entirely in the hands of account holders, and lets them decide who can access their data. It wouldn't surprise me at all to see ideas like this adopted by other websites. After all, we may be spending more time on the internet than ever before, but we still never really know when that time is up.

And now that we're all thoroughly reminded of our mortality, <a href=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-JWXF-Pud4>here's a video of a baby meeting a puppy.

Source: Ars Technica

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thesilentman

What this
Jun 14, 2012
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So, what does the Escapist do for situations like these? Apply a ban or something like that?

Anyway, I need to remind myself that I'll live to an old age before I even need to consider something like this.

THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS. >.<
 

Pebkio

The Purple Mage
Nov 9, 2009
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Introverted out the rear end... if I forgot to check my rarely used gmail account... Bam!:

"Pebkio's dead, long live Pebkio."

I especially like this:

Once that interval is reached, up to ten trusted contacts will receive automated emails and texts informing them of what's happened.

How are they informed, anyway?

"Sir or Madam, Pebkio hasn't logged into Google in six month. Perhaps you should stop by his house and check for funny smells."

Hahaha, sorry, I know that's a bit morbid, but the possibility of my death is funny. Not because it's unlikely, but because it's silly that there's a high chance Google had to let people know.
 

Evil Smurf

Admin of Catoholics Anonymous
Nov 11, 2011
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thesilentman said:
So, what does the Escapist do for situations like these? Apply a ban or something like that?

Anyway, I need to remind myself that I'll live to an old age before I even need to consider something like this.

THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS. >.<
Not If I kill you :D besides Kross will harvest your remains and feed them to the forum hampsters.

I'd never kill you. You are still useful

8989th post!
 

thesilentman

What this
Jun 14, 2012
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Evil Smurf said:
thesilentman said:
So, what does the Escapist do for situations like these? Apply a ban or something like that?

Anyway, I need to remind myself that I'll live to an old age before I even need to consider something like this.

THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS. >.<
Not If I kill you :D besides Kross will harvest your remains and feed them to the forum hampsters.

I'd never kill you. You are still useful

8989th post!
O.O

Must... Find... Anti... Kross... Shield...

Also, how could you Smurf? We were friends! Remember the help I gave? Was it not enough?

D-:

It does bring up a good question though. I'd like to have immortality somewhere at least. :-D
 

Fanghawk

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Feb 17, 2011
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I can't wait when someone famous dies just to find out they watched XXX Cup Knockers V and their browsing history containing the 2 girls 1 cup website. :p
 

Notsomuch

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Apr 22, 2009
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Except I'm the kind of person who simply forgets I ever had an account somewhere. Suddenly twelve months later all of my loved ones get word that I have passed on and it was google that breaks the news.
 

Evil Smurf

Admin of Catoholics Anonymous
Nov 11, 2011
11,597
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thesilentman said:
Evil Smurf said:
thesilentman said:
So, what does the Escapist do for situations like these? Apply a ban or something like that?

Anyway, I need to remind myself that I'll live to an old age before I even need to consider something like this.

THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS. >.<
Not If I kill you :D besides Kross will harvest your remains and feed them to the forum hampsters.

I'd never kill you. You are still useful

8989th post!
O.O

Must... Find... Anti... Kross... Shield...

Also, how could you Smurf? We were friends! Remember the help I gave? Was it not enough?

D-:

It does bring up a good question though. I'd like to have immortality somewhere at least. :-D
When the cats have control of the planet, you will be spared.
http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lta2ndR05Z1qiybzc.gif

For real yo, what does happen on the escapist in the case of death?
 

Doom972

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Dec 25, 2008
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thesilentman said:
So, what does the Escapist do for situations like these? Apply a ban or something like that?

Anyway, I need to remind myself that I'll live to an old age before I even need to consider something like this.

THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS. >.<
I think that the icon should have RIP written over it and also a special badge is in order. Only one way to find out though.
 

thesilentman

What this
Jun 14, 2012
4,513
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Evil Smurf said:
thesilentman said:
Evil Smurf said:
thesilentman said:
So, what does the Escapist do for situations like these? Apply a ban or something like that?

Anyway, I need to remind myself that I'll live to an old age before I even need to consider something like this.

THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS. >.<
Not If I kill you :D besides Kross will harvest your remains and feed them to the forum hampsters.

I'd never kill you. You are still useful

8989th post!
O.O

Must... Find... Anti... Kross... Shield...

Also, how could you Smurf? We were friends! Remember the help I gave? Was it not enough?

D-:

It does bring up a good question though. I'd like to have immortality somewhere at least. :-D
When the cats have control of the planet, you will be spared.
http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lta2ndR05Z1qiybzc.gif

For real yo, what does happen on the escapist in the case of death?
Now, now. We don't want He-Who-Must-Not-Named [sub]*cough*Daystar*cough*[/sub] here, do we? The power of puppies is mine! MINE! Your kitties' plans are foiled. BWHAHAHAHAHA!!
 

Fanghawk

New member
Feb 17, 2011
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Evil Smurf said:
thesilentman said:
So, what does the Escapist do for situations like these? Apply a ban or something like that?

Anyway, I need to remind myself that I'll live to an old age before I even need to consider something like this.

THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS. >.<
Not If I kill you :D besides Kross will harvest your remains and feed them to the forum hampsters.
I must donate my body officially to the escapist after death, just so a large box will show up on their door step ala firefly
 

TheSYLOH

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Feb 5, 2010
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AH HA!
I see Google's Nefarius Plan!
Google sets up a system where things get sent automatically after death.
That way when people have information that can topple governments, they upload it to Google's services so that it gets sent in the even they get silenced!
Thus basically handing Google blackmail material, which they can use to complete their conquest of the world!
TBH, I don't think we can ask for much better overlords, so I'm behind this decision.
 

Fanghawk

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Feb 17, 2011
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About time somebody did something about this!
I can picture a dystopian future where nobody can sign up to anything because all the email addresses/usernames have been taken, but people who died two hundred years ago!
 

Glass Joe

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Oct 7, 2009
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Fanghawk said:
Pending the discovery of a Fountain of Youth or consciousness-uploading technology, odds are about 100% that you are going to die one day. We don't have to think about it often, but we do like to be prepared: What do we want to have happen to our belongings? What do we want to leave behind for our loved ones?
Stop reminding me that I'm wasting my life playing videogames, Escapist. Remember why you call yourselves Escapist!

Fanghawk said:
And now that we're all thoroughly reminded of our mortality, here's a video of a baby meeting a puppy.
OH LOOK AT HIM HE'S SO HAPPY!
 

Therumancer

Citation Needed
Nov 28, 2007
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What is going to be interesting is when we start seeing cases of people wanting to leave behind virtual property to other people. Say giving your STEAM account to someone with all your games, or whatever else. I'm sure EULAs and stuff have some basic guidelines screaming "no" but when people start to die with thousands of dollars in virtual property or more people think like this, it's going to raise some interesting questions.

Apparently a lot of people still have substantial investments in virtual real estate that might already cause some questions given how the respective services are run. Apparently there are players of "Project Entropia" that lease out mining rights and such on their virtual islands and such for real money, and some rather lavish personal properties on "Second Life" despite the apparently diminishing interest in it. I ran into some referances recently about how one of the houses next to the Playboy Mansion and previously considered part of it's grounds was being sold for 11 million. Apparently in comparison (and this is not 100% trustworthy mind you) there is at least one island-size sex dungeon in Second Life that over a period of time has had over a million dollars invested in it, and apparently makes something like $50k a month in membership fees from pervs, and is apparently a big enough business that even Second Life's "moral reforms" have been unable to really regulate it since they need the traffic and revenue.

I'm not sure if the tech level is high enough right now, but if we get to the point where we start to see virtual spaces that are likely to hold out for decades, while things like what I've heard above might not be true, some equivilents might be. Some dude dying might want to leave control of his MMO virtual mining business, or online sex club he built on someone else's servers to his family or whatever so they can continue to get the revenue.

Of course disturbing jokes almost right themselves here, especially when you think on a somewhat smaller, but more insane scale you know like "To my son Louie, I leave my virtual babyfur masochist costume, animations, and relevent coding, along with my contacts list, so he can potentially assume my identity, maintain and continue to make money from, my online prostituion..." Okay, okay, maybe not that demented, but just think of the potential jokes that could come from some of the wierder things you've heard about coming up during a will reading.
 

Rainforce

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Apr 20, 2009
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Fanghawk said:
And now that we're all thoroughly reminded of our mortality, <a href=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-JWXF-Pud4>here's a video of a baby meeting a puppy.
fuck the puppy, I have no time to waste D: *writes post on the escapist instead*

it's good to see that some companies have a streak of sense from time to time, otherwise the internet would be a far worse hell.
 

MorganL4

Person
May 1, 2008
1,364
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Wait a minute, so if I don't log into Google + for a year my family members are gonna get emails telling them that I am dead?

Yay google.....
 

Strazdas

Robots will replace your job
May 28, 2011
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I knew a guy that "dissapeared". few days later i found out from a friend that he died in a car accident. had it not been for that friend i would have though he ragequitted. this is very useful service in my opinion.

itchcrotch said:
About time somebody did something about this!
I can picture a dystopian future where nobody can sign up to anything because all the email addresses/usernames have been taken, but people who died two hundred years ago!
Its already happening, sorta. i got Strazdas and another 4 nicsk to fall back if thats taken. on one server i ran out of all 5 since they were taken by "Dead" accounts.

MorganL4 said:
Wait a minute, so if I don't log into Google + for a year my family members are gonna get emails telling them that I am dead?

Yay google.....
ONLY if you set it up to do that. you have a choice not to do that.

Glass Joe said:
Stop reminding me that I'm wasting my life playing videogames, Escapist. Remember why you call yourselves Escapist!
If your enjoying it your not wasting....