Build-A-Story: What happens to your digital life when you're dead?
Google owns me. Well, that's not exactly true. My editor owns me. Google just owns me digitally. It has five years worth of my email, most of my Microsoft Word documents, my calendar, my phone (I have Google Voice and an Android device), my pictures, my videos and my web domain, not to mention my banking information through Google Checkout.
My wife doesn't know my passwords to my Google life, nor does she know any of my social networking logins. Now that I think about it, she doesn't have my PayPal account information either -- and there's some money in there related to my prowess as a fantasy football player. (I have some Fun Guy Time money stashed away too, so here's hoping she doesn't read this.)
If I get hit by a comet tonight, I can only imagine the headaches she will face getting access to all that data. Already, there have been numerous court maneuverings over the issue. Let's face it: We have digital lives now. Many people also have their own digital economies -- either through eBay or Second Life or what have you. But most of us don't have plans for dealing with our digital lives after we leave the physical world.
Do you have a plan for your digital life when you go? Do you think you need one? I'm reporting a story on what happens to our digital lives when we pass on and I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences. What have you planned and what services do you think should exist? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org or in the comment boards below.
| January 15, 2010; 9:34 AM ET
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