What happens to our digital data and our social network profiles after our death ? How to anticipate and bequeath our access to our digital counts ? How to avoid identity theft once we are gone ? So many questions we will answer to help you.
What the law says ?
Legislation provides for regulation of “digital death”. In fact, everyone can define guidelines for erasing, storing or transmitting their digital data after their death.
You can also designate a trusted person who can manage your data. Be aware that in the absence of delegation, it will be the heirs who will have the rights to manage the accounts, profiles and personal data of the deceased.
What data should be protected ?
During our life, we create many profiles or access on all types of internet portals. Passwords and personal data relate to the following types of sites :
- courier accounts
- public services
- social networks (facebook, instagram, twitter, …)
- merchant sites
- applications and software
Active or passive digital data can be the victim of dishonest actions such as identity theft or fraudulent use. Numerous possibilities make it possible to anticipate the future of its digital data during its lifetime or to bequeath our information to a third party :
- protect confidential data: this early protection is done by appointing a legatee of trust. You can also use a software or an application for archiving data and passwords that are transmitted to a third party.
- keep or delete profiles: on social networks, it is possible to keep the profile of a deceased member in order to make a commemorative account or delete it altogether.
- planning a succession and relieving your loved ones: whether it is at a personal or professional level, managing your data while you are alive, planning to transmit them or bequeathing them makes things much easier and avoids any hassle. This can avoid additional suffering for the family or colleagues and it also ensures the deceased’s compliance with his last wishes.
What do platforms allow ?
Facebook allows to manage in 2 different ways the account of a deceased member. It is possible to :
- create a commemoration account: the mention “In memory of” is added next to the nickname (the publications and the photos remaining public)
- permanently delete the account
In the case of a person who has managed a facebook business account of a brand or company, it is strongly recommended to transmit access to a new administrator.
Instagram, which belongs to the Facebook group, does not offer the same possibilities as its elder. It is the relatives of the deceased who will have to either keep the profile to make a commemoration account, or decide on its removal.
Twitter does not offer any possibility of retention or deletion of account to its members. It is therefore up to the family of the deceased to decide whether or not they delete the account. The platform proposes an online form to proceed with this deletion.
Like Twitter, the social network LinkedIn has integrated an online form allowing relatives to request the removal of the deceased’s account (proof will be required)
Google and its applications Youtube, Gmail, MyBusiness, Drive, … has developed an inactive account manager. This allows its members to appoint a person in case of inactivity according to a predetermined period. This person then receives a message authorizing him to access all the data in question.