Google has recently launched an ‘Inactive Account Manager‘ tool to handle the afterlife of your Google account. The tool lets the user decide what happens with their email, Google Plus and other accounts after they die (Just writing about this makes me feel weird). The user can choose a length of time starting at 3 months and after that time of being inactive, the account will be closed.
This feature evens lets users tell Google what to do with email messages and other data if their account becomes inactive. Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it, just like that – after you die good old Google will help look after your online life.
The time period which a user can choose to close their account after being inactive are 3 months, 6 months, 9 months or 12 months. Following the period of inactivity, you can choose to send all of your current messages or other data to a lucky friend or just choose to delete them.
This feature includes Gmail, Google Plus, YouTube, Picasa and Blogger. According to Google, before taking any action or closing any account the user will receive a warning to a chosen secondary email.
It makes sense
I suppose this all makes sense, there is already millions of inactive accounts on the internet, one example being that one million Facebook users die every year and a lot of those accounts are just sitting – inactive. We can’t just have zombie Google accounts sitting on the web!
It does make sense but planning what happens to my online accounts after my death is just something that I don’t think about. If I’m dead, my Google account is the last of my worries. The only reason that someone would use this feature would be to save their friends and family about 30 minutes of their time by not having to cancel the accounts.
This tool does have a (small) sense of commonsense to it, but seriously do we really care about what happens to our YouTube account if we don’t use it for 3 months?