Monday, November 09, 2009

What happens to your inbox after you die?

Saving that parting email from your first love in your inbox? Well, chances are, after you pass away, your spouse and the entire family will know about the long-held secret.

This is because web email services like Hotmail and Gmail do not let users specify what should happen to their messages when they die.
In fact, email services owned by internet giants like Google and Microsoft have a policy of keeping your data after you die and letting your next of kin or the executor of your estate access it. These services can hold tens of thousands of messages.

Accounts with Gmail can hold up to 7GB — or roughly 70,000 emails with a small to medium picture attached to each and they archive the messages you’ve written as well as received.

When it comes to deleting the data, Microsoft’s Hotmail will remove an account if it is inactive for 270 days, while Gmail leaves the responsibility to the next of kin. Of the top three providers, only Yahoo refuses to supply emails to anyone after the user has died.

The user’s next of kin can ask for the account to be closed, but cannot gain access to it. A Yahoo spokesperson said the only exception to this rule would be if the user specified otherwise in their will.

Meanwhile, social-networking site Facebook has recently publicised a feature called memorialisation that lets the family of deceased users keep their profile page online as a virtual tribute.

MySpace, on the other hand, says it addresses the issue of family access to sensitive data on a “case by case basis”

2 comments:

Charmaine said...

Out of the three email providers, I would have to say that Yahoo is the best in terms of when someone dies. However, I still use Gmail, because the functions and the services are much more better in terms of space as well as tools.

However, thanks for telling us, I will keep that in mind in the future. :)

Anonymous said...

it should also die just like brain dies who created it.