Sunday Morning: Online Legacy
Americans are spending more and more of their lives online. But what happens to our digital lives when we are no longer human? For Sunday Morning, David Pogue talked about our digital legacies.
What happens to your social media accounts and digital personal effects after our deaths? Blogger Evan Carroll is an expert on digital property and the co-author of Your Digital Afterlife. He said that society is currently ahead of the law, and policies vary by state, with some opting to leave instructions in a will.
CBS Sunday Morning: Facebook Memorialization
When Facebook celebrated its 10th anniversary by gifting users with a musical montage of their digital pasts, John Berlin reached out to the social network asking to see his son’s tribute video, since Jesse had passed away in 2012 and the family did not have access to his Facebook account.
When his emotional plea to Facebook went viral, the social network got in touch and shared his son’s video with him. The social network also strengthened its policy regarding memorialization of accounts belonging to deceased users.
Sunday Morning: Digital Bereavement
“Your Facebook profile can become a memorial to you, and can be a place for communal bereavement,” Carroll explained of Facebook’s approach. On Google, users have options to control what happens if they don’t log in for an extended period of time.
It’s estimated that Facebook is home to the profiles of 30 million deceased former users. Companies have begun creating services that will send a list of your passwords to a specified contact upon your death. Other services allow you to compose your last words, to be disseminated after your passing.
CBS Sunday Morning: Lifenaut Review & Bina48
Other services offer locker-type services for military members and others. Bruce Duncan of the Terasem Movement Foundation told Sunday Morning about the Lifenaut website, which is meant to create a digital avatar of you for your descendents.
The company is also at work on another creepy digital advancement, Bina48, a robotic representation based on a real person. You could have an interactive conversation with one of your ancestors.
Sunday Morning: Digital Life After Death
Evan Carroll felt that some of these services are novelties that may not live on after we are gone. What should people do to prepare in the meantime? He recommended expressing your wishes to your family, and letting them know where your important files are stored; you may also want to back up those files.
Have you ever thought about your online life after death? What would you want to have happen?