Who should control your data after you pass away? – You, People you trust or Facebook?

Almost 2 people die every second – that’s around 150K deaths every single day. That’s quite a lot, isn’t it? (http://www.wholesomewords.org/missions/greatc.html)

In January this year, Facebook had around 1.06 billion users – if you do the maths, it’s around 1 in every 8 – assuming world population around 8 billion.

If you combine both stats, out of 150K people who die every day, around 16K people have facebook profile. Yes, that’s right more than 10K people on facebook die everyday.

What happens to these profiles – facebook profiles of deceased. Most of them remain active and some are converted into memorial pages by facebook. Creating memorial is a good option – but this may or may not be what a user would have liked (Given a chance) and this may or may not be what people close to user would like.

Take the case of Juliana who died in May last year because of complications during a surgery. Her mother, professor of sociology campaigned for months to remove her memorial page. She eventually took legal route and court gave an order that page should be shut down – on 10’Th April this year.

That’s a fight of 11 months – you can read her story on BBC at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-22286569.

How many people would want to and can fight like her? Just imagine – would you want people close to you fight like this for you? No, I wouldn’t want them to go through this pain.

In my opinion, user should be able to control / specify what should happen to their profile after they pass away. User should be able to transfer their accounts to people they trust and leave instructions for them on what should be done.

Organisations (Google, Facebook etc) should not be in control of your data – you should be. . What do you think?

Inactivity Account Manager – Good but not enough..

Finally, google has understood the importance of transferring digital identities and accounts – it’s a good move by Google. Well Done! I hope other companies will start following the trend now.

Services like this are a step in the right direction, however it’s impact on our digital life is not massive, because our lives are scattered all over the cyber ether. We use many online services and products besides owned by Google.

If I reflect on my online activities, Google is a small part of that. I am present in

  • Social networks

  • Professional networks

  • Blogging communities

I share my thoughts and pictures on blogs and micro blogging platforms. I purchase online and have e-wallet on many websites. I have virtual goods and virtual money which can be converted into physical money easily.  I trade online and have online trading and banking accounts.

Google is big, important and touches many parts of our lives – However it is not the only thing of our digital life. PlannedDeparture solves this problem for your *digital assets* – not just the assets owned by Google.

In short www.plannedDeparture.com helps make lives of people users leave behind a bit more comfortable by providing finer control over who gets whatfrom the digital or physical world of user – not just from Google and not everything – just the relevant, decided by you – the user.