Today Google announced a new program to help you control your Gmail and other Google accounts after you die. The program is called Inactive Account Manager, and allows you to have your data deleted or your accounts shared if those accounts become inactive for a certain amount of time.
You can tell us what to do with your Gmail messages and data from several other Google services if your account becomes inactive for any reason. For example, you can choose to have your data deleted — after three, six, nine or 12 months of inactivity.
Right now, most online media companies (including social media, email and communication, photo and image sharing, etc.) are legally forbidden from disclosing content or granting account access to a third party without the consent of the owner—even if the owner has died, or left those accounts to someone in a Will. We think Inactive Account Manager is a huge step forward in helping people manage digital accounts and digital afterlives. Thanks for getting onboard, Google.