Kudos to The Wall Street Journal’s Abigail Summerville, who really gets the problem of digital afterlife.
She nails it, in fact: “Social-media giants, with hundreds of millions of accounts, are increasingly grappling with how to handle digital legacies of users who have died.”
A few points we want you to consider:
1 – Social-media giants are all about monetizing their platforms. They haven’t yet figured out how much money a dead user’s account is worth. That will come, and you heard it here first.
2 – Most platforms delete accounts when they learn that users are dead. That means if business records or other digital assets are online, they could evaporate.
3 – If notification of a death does occur through the platform’s channels, how hard is it for criminals to put two- and two together? Identity theft is a problem for the living. It could be worse for the dead and their families.
4 – Facebook took years to figure out a solution to the problem, and only in 2015 did it comes up with a way to allow users to designate someone as their digital heir. But that’s ONLY if the person takes steps to name a digital heir. Most of us don’t.
5 – Users attempt to find workarounds, sometimes by sharing passwords. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t (like when facial recognition is incorporated into a platform), but sharing passwords is a violation of state laws in most states. It’s a risk, and could result in the account being locked down or deleted.
You don’t have to wait for the social-media giants to catch up.
Directive Communication Systems has created a proprietary platform that gives users the ability to prepare their digital property, assign a legal and valid digital executor of their assets, and protect their digital assets.
At DCS, we help people manage all digital asset planning, including social media, so they are properly prepared and managed. DCS also works with families when a loved one has passed unexpectedly and they are at a loss as to how to access digital data, social media accounts and other online properties.
Visit www.directivecommunications.com to learn more. You’ve worked hard to build your traditional and digital assets. Don’t let your digital assets die with you.