What happens to Emails, Twitter & Facebook when you die?


Remember the time you poured your heart out in an email to your friend or that sexy message from an old lover that made you blush at work? Well, if you die, your family and others could end up reading them !!

Web email services owned by internet giants Google and Microsoft have a policy of keeping your data after you die and letting your next of kin or the executor of your estate access it.

Accounts with Google’s Gmail can hold up to 7GB – or roughly 70,000 emails with a small to medium picture attached to each. And they archive the messages you’ve written as well as received. When it comes to deleting the data, Microsoft’s Hotmail will remove an account if it is inactive for 270 days, while Gmail leaves the responsibility to the next of kin.

Of the top three providers, only Yahoo! refuses to supply emails to anyone after a user has died. The user’s next of kin can ask for the account to be closed, but cannot gain access to it. A Yahoo! spokesperson said the only exception to this rule would be if the user specified otherwise in their will.

Few days back, I had a Crazy question which popped up in mind –

” Can we give a privilege to someone, who can update our Facebook / Twitter when we die? – Just one tweet/update that – this guy is no more! “

I wrote to the Privacy team of Twitter on the same. Here is the the response I got – “If a twitter user passes, we will remove the account or leave as is on request of the family. We will not send out any tweets on their behalf or give access to the account to anyone else.”

Facebook has recently publicised a feature called memorialisation that lets the family of deceased users keep their profile page online as a virtual tribute. Turning a profile into a memorial will remove sensitive information from the page and restrict access to the deceased’s friends. The family will not be allowed to log in to the account or access private messages, but can request that it be taken down.

Click here to read the policies of popular email and social networking sites » (source – news.com.au)