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Digital Afterlife

Gummibeer

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Hey all,

I know it's a strange topic especially on Christmas.
But I have thought about: what happens with my digital life when I die!?
And got to the conclusion that nothing is prepared. No one has access to my passwords or accounts. No one, not even I, know where I have accounts and subscriptions. Most of the code I've written belongs only to me.

So my work will die the same if no one thinks that it's worth to fork and my beloved ones will have a hard time/job to delete all my accounts/subscriptions.

Has anyone of you thought about it already? Or even prepared something for the case? Or is there some kind of service where I can list all my accounts?

And for the ones with larger OSS projects or SaaS or something like that: have you prepared it? And for the ones with a service: have you a defined procedure if one of your customers dies? And for the freelancers: would your customers be able to proceed with their projects in an easy way? Or would they have to sue every party involved in any way to get the source code?

I've seen that most of the services I use, even the larger ones, don't have any official way if a customer dies.
Could it be because the internet as a whole is relatively new and most users aren't in an age where it's common to die? 🤔
 
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VickiLanger

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Those are all really good questions and ones that we really do need an answer for.

For subscriptions, I assume they would die when credit/debit cards and bank accounts are closed.

As for everything else you mentioned, I have no answer and now I’m really curious. Thanks for making me think 💭
 

Gummibeer

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Those are all really good questions and ones that we really do need an answer for.

For subscriptions, I assume they would die when credit/debit cards and bank accounts are closed.

As for everything else you mentioned, I have no answer and now I’m really curious. Thanks for making me think 💭
Not necessary. Most services will start to send you invoices and reminders. They will stop to provide the service but still want money. So your beloved ones will have to handle something else.

Great questions! An agency I worked with made sure projects passed the 'hit by a bus' test. If any stakeholder in the project was hit by a bus, would we be able to deal with it?
Exactly that's the scenario. And in an agency it's easier. But at the end it starts with: is there someone who knows which customers you have to inform them?

Something that got to my mind was a service where you can add all the needed stuff (keepass, customer and account lists and whatever). After you've registered you will receive an email and a physical card with "beloved" access information. The moment you die they can access this link, upload any valid document to proof that you are dead. After this an email is sent to the original person address to reject the access (to prevent misuse while you are alive. After 14day or something like that without any complaints the service believes you are dead and grants access.

What would you think about something like this? 🤔
 

avena

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Maybe services like that probably better to keep it physical; in case of death or crazy digital apocalypse, otherwise, it can be more easily hacked (in a massive way I mean).
 

Gummibeer

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Maybe services like that probably better to keep it physical; in case of death or crazy digital apocalypse, otherwise, it can be more easily hacked (in a massive way I mean).
Encryption/security is a massive point for this idea. My problem with physical would be that there has to be something like a testament (which is needed anyway) but also at a place where the others have access to. My idea for the service would also be some kind of API for software to validate if an user is alive. 🤔
Talking about this feels pretty strange. 😅

But like Adam said, there's also a business perspective for this kind of stuff.
 

VickiLanger

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Encryption/security is a massive point for this idea. My problem with physical would be that there has to be something like a testament (which is needed anyway) but also at a place where the others have access to. My idea for the service would also be some kind of API for software to validate if an user is alive. 🤔
Talking about this feels pretty strange. 😅

But like Adam said, there's also a business perspective for this kind of stuff.
That’s kinda what I was thinking. I would have to eventually become a standard for companies to check if a user is alive. But what would you check it against? There isn’t a set standard across the world. Even if there was, would people feel secure enough to allow their data to be used?
 

TGDesigns

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I vaguely remember a service you can setup withing your will that will release digital information to specified people in the event that you pass away I believe its something you can actually bolt on to life insurance.
 

27leaves

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Really interesting topic! I also remember a service (I think from Germany) that wanted to solve that problem. I just did a quick search and found the following article: Preparing a Digital Will for Your Passwords - The LastPass Blog. Apparently the password manager LastPass thought of this and you can designate an emergency contact for the case :)
 
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