The data you collected over time, your personal identity, commonly referred to as your digital estate remains in the cloud. The question arises, who should have access to it all after you die?
Only 5 states have addressed this question. There’s no uniform federal law. According to NPR’s All Tech Considered blog notes, if you’re in a state without clear-cut digital estate guidelines—the various service agreements of Internet companies govern what happens to our digital identities after death.
5 states include, Oklahoma, Idaho, Rhode Island, Indiana, and Connecticut. Everywhere else your digital afterlife is in the hands of tech companies, most of which haven’t figured out how their going to address digital immorality either.
When The life journey for the acclaimed movie buff and film critic, Roger Ebert, came to an end at the age of 70 in April he left behind more than 100,000 Facebook fans and over 800,000 twitter followers. Today his Twitter account is managed by a team who runs his website and his wife, Chaz occasionally tweets for his account from his private arcade of content.
Roger Ebert gave away the keys to his digital identity in the final months of his life
How her husband Roger Ebert gave her the keys to his digital identity in the final months of his life Chaz explained here:
“Starting in about March of this year he began to give me the secret code to his Twitter and Facebook accounts and he told me to make sure I kept his Twitter account up-to-date. I thought this was strange, but I didn’t pay much attention to it. [...] So when he passed away and some suggested that we shut down his Twitter account, I remembered his admonishments against it. He knew that it could be disconcerting to some people to see his picture pop up if he was no longer here, so I changed the photo. At a lovely tribute to him in the south of France during the Cannes Film Festival, Julie Sisk at the American Pavilion got 250 people together on the beach and took a photo of them giving a “500 Thumbs Up Salute.” That is the photo we switched to. (I have to admit that I still miss seeing the old photo of Roger.)”
Further he gave out clear instructions what to happen with all of his accounts after his decease:
CHAZ Here: Roger wanted us to use this account only for certain tweets. We will be changing to a new account soon. Thank you
Roger Ebert (@ebertchicago) May 23, 2013
Roger Ebert was very proactive with managing his digital afterlife, what are you planning to do with your digital estate?