Google's Inactive Account Manager ties up loose ends for digital identities

Summary:Your personal data could live on longer than you — unless you tell Google otherwise.


Ever wonder what might happen to your Google account after you die? Well, wonder no longer.

Google has just introduced the Inactive Account Manager, a new tool that does exactly what the name describes.

While admitting that the name isn't great, Google product manager Andreas Tuerk explained in a blog post on Thursday that users can determine what they want done with their Google accounts and encompassing data (i.e. Gmail messages, Picasa photos, etc.) if accounts become inactive for any reason.

That includes worst case scenarios or just the inevitable, depending how you want to look at this morbid situation.

Tuerk also pointed out that thinking about one's "digital afterlife" is also important from a privacy and security standpoint for the loved ones left behind. (Plus, it's one less thing for them to have to worry about).

Not many of us like thinking about death — especially our own. But making plans for what happens after you’re gone is really important for the people you leave behind.

Note that the Inactive Account Manager is only available for regular Google Accounts right now — not Google Apps customers.

Screenshot via The Google Public Policy Blog

Topics: Security, Data Management, Google, Social Enterprise


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider,, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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