February 16, 2015

Your accounts after death: What Facebook, Google and Yahoo have for you?

Facebook has come out with a new feature that allows you to decide what happens to your account, alongwith timeline, posts, etc, after you are no more (God bless you a long life!). Now, if you choose so, your timeline will not die with you, and one of your friends or your daughter may be able to keep your memories alive. The feature is optional.

This feature is being made available first in the US and will later be rolled out globally.

'Legacy contact', as Facebook likes to call the nominated person, will have some restrictions. For example, he will not have rights when the original account holder is alive / active. In addition, the 'legacy contact' will not be able to log in as the deceased or see his private messages.

Facebook already has a feature to 'memorialize' an account; it means people can see the timeline etc as if the deceases were still alive. With the new addition, Facebook will memorialize the account once someone informs about the death and the 'legacy contact' will be able to write a post to announce a memorial service or share a special message, respond to new friend requests from family members and friends who were not yet connected on Facebook, and update the profile picture and cover photo.

Further, if you choose, you may let the 'legacy contact' download photos, posts and profile information from your Facebook account. In any case, you retain the option to tell Facebook to purge your profile and delete your account on your passing away.


To set up 'legacy contact', go to Settings, then Security and then Legacy Contact [Right now in the US only.]

Google after death


It was around two years ago when Google made this option available to all account holders. As a Google account holder, you can opt to give permission to an 'inactive account manager' to take charge of your account and data. You can give this permission to somebody who would access your account if for any reason you are unable to access it yourself and also to access it after you. 

Once you set up the 'inactive account manager, Google will alert you if your account remains inactive for a period that you choose (it has to be beyond 3 months) and notify that person (or a number of persons) about it. That person(s) then takes charge of your data. You also have the option to let Google delete your data once and for all.

As you would know, Google treats all entitities associated with one account together: Picasa photos, Blogger blogs, Gmail mail, Google Plus posts and YouTube videos included.

For accessing this feature on Google, go to Account and then Account Settings.

Yahoo Ending


As far as we know, Yahoo's terms of service (TOS) do not allow transfer of any web property and only allow closing of an account on receipt of a request along with proof of being the heir or legal executor. However, Yahoo Japan also notifies upto 200 accounts in the event of an account holder's death, on a fee, it is reported.