Session 11: You're Dead, Your Data Isn't. What Happens Now? [panel]
Adele McAlear - Death and Digital Legacy
Daniel Greenwood - CIVICS.com
Evan Carroll - The Digital Beyond
Jesse Davis - Entrusted
John Romano - The Digital Beyond
This was perhaps the most interesting panel that I attended in the 5 days of Interactive. The subject of digital ownership and proprietary after you die, is not something that has been discussed at length in our current coming-of-age internet era. Yet in 2011, almost 300,000 facebook users are set to die.
The question needs to be asked - what should happen to your 'legacy' data? The panel assembled were entrepreneurs, attorneys and scholars who have already begun working on a solution to this 'messy' problem.
If you think what you put on the web will last forever, you are delusional.
The Internet Archive will not save you. You must decide what is important to you, and ensure that you safeguard your digital legacy. These may be:
- Photos on flickr
- Work related info on LinkedIn
- World of Warcraft account?
Analogy: This may be the first opportunity in human history to build our own pyramid or terra cotta army.
Who, then, should have access to these assets after you die?
Individual planning is important but even more so is legislation. There is no law or policy on this. Infrastructure and architecture is crucial for such a life cycle event. There is only confusion for family and friends who are dealing with their loved ones' facebook and email accounts when they have passed on.
Facebook already has a policy on memorilising deceased accounts. What is interesting with facebook is that it is somewhat becoming a "digital cemetary" - FB pages become a public place for collective grieving and memoralising.
Note: People deal with death in different ways. If you do not care, then it is ok to do nothing. However, if you do care about your legacy online - act now and/or make arrangements. Talk to your family and friends.
Make and inventory of your digital life and assets - "cloud counting"
More resources below..
Ogilvy Visual Note:
Ogilvy Visual Note: