Why your Skype credits could be lost – Forever!

Recently Facebook released its legacy contact feature in the UK. This is a welcome move by Facebook and highlights the importance of ‘digital legacy’.

However, our digital life and digital footprint goes beyond Facebook and Google. We have pointed out the enormous difficulties loved ones can face trying to unravel their deceased’s digital property. 

While Louise Palmer’s story is still fresh in our minds, story of Susan Rowan is surfacing digital legacy problems with another internet giant – Skype.

Susan tried to sort out her husband’s financial affairs after he died of cancer in January. She tried to close his online accounts but was faced with a long painful process of dealing with customer support centres of the online services.

Her experience with Skype left her feeling distressed. To begin with, it was difficult for Susan to contact their customer service over the phone. She had to use web chat and then they refused to refund £25.46 credit to her.

There are many more such cases of family members getting affected by lack of access to digital accounts.

At Planned Departure, our vision is to empower individual to take control of digital life and digital legacy.

The media coverages and now solution from Facebook are helpful in promoting the cause of digital legacy. The UK Law Society has advised people to leave a digital legacy after death, and an increasing number of lawyers are becoming vocal on the same issue.

There is still a long way to go and we need your support!

Please join Planned Departure or contact us for offering digital legacy solution to your clients.

First Google, and now Facebook is following our lead – Facebook rolls out feature for users when they die

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In 2013, Google launched it’s Inactivity Account Manager and at Planned Departure we crossed our fingers in the hope that other companies would start following suit. Which is why we are delighted to see that Facebook has followed the steps of Google and now offer this control to the user.

These steps which both Google and Facebook have taken are heading in the right direction, however, they are not sufficient. Our digital lives go way beyond the remit of Google and Facebook, who are obviously important but who in effect are only a minor part of our digital presence. Think about other online services we use – from communication to financial transactions, we now use numerous services which have become intrinsically tied to our day to day lives.

We should definitely have a lot more granular level control on what and how our accounts should be operated after we pass away. Like any other physical asset, as a creator of these digital assets, we should have the ability to specify who should get access to these accounts and what they should do with them.

People have the right to distribute whatever they own from their physical world, why can’t they do it from the digital world? This question and the problem we faced led us to the development of Planned Departure in the first place.

It is nice to see that mainstream organisations have now followed our lead and are solving this problem for their platforms. However, for an individual, we suggest they should think about their entire digital presence – not just Facebook and Google.

It is important to think about all the digital assets we possess, assign right beneficiaries for them and leave clear instructions for each and everything. It is important to have a planned departure in this digital age – otherwise, our data would stay locked or lost in this cyber-world forever!

To Will or not to Will?

(DIY)Do-it-yourself may work in various aspects of our lives like plastering your living room or cleaning the dust out of your laptop.
Here are some interesting figures about Wills, DIY wills and the general attitude from the public towards them.

The Journey of Digital Art

With digital art starting to dominate the art industry, it’s safe to assume that some artists may have numerous art pieces, complete and incomplete that need to be organised and saved securely, especially in the case of something happening to the artist. His friends and family may not know where all these art pieces are or what the artist in question would like to do with them

Digital art in the 21st Century

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Van Gogh certainly would not have thought about it and Picasso I feel sure would have agreed had he understood the concept, however art, whether it be digital or etched on canvas, is still, very much art by definition.

Over the years the argument that digital art wasn’t an actual form of art because it was computer generated and had infinite copies without an ‘original’ has pretty much been silenced. As technology has evolved, so too has our views on digital art.

The difference between digital art and any other art form is the fact the artist works mainly with digital technology as an essential part of their art piece – gone are the paint brushes and easels of old.

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The first steps towards the evolution of art towards digital started in the 1950’s when a lot of artists and designers started working with mechanical devices and analogue computers.

Bear in mind during those times computers were very expensive. Only research laboratories, universities and large corporations could afford them. Regardless of these constraints, when the computer came into existence that’s when digital art started emerging.

From digital painting to animations, digital photography and 3D models, movies and games, they all come under the category of art. On the plus side they are accessible, on the downside there is no such thing as an original digital art form.

With digital art starting to dominate the art industry, it’s safe to assume that some artists may have numerous art pieces, complete and incomplete that need to be organised and saved securely, especially in the case of something happening to the artist. His friends and family may not know where all these art pieces are or what the artist in question would like to do with them.

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As with all digital assets, digital art is yet another facet which needs to be protected, stored and effectively passed on. I can think of nothing worse than an unfinished Rembrandt entombed in the ether for no one to access and enjoy….