The BBC reports that Google is the first company “to deal with the sensitive issue”—and since Google has built its company capturing and using personal data, it only makes sense that the search giant explore a way to give users more control over their info.
The tool applies to all Google-run accounts, including Gmail, Google+, YouTube, Picasa and others. Users have the option to delete data after a certain period of time or pass their data on to specified people. If you choose the former, you can opt to have your data deleted after three, six, nine or 12 months of online inactivity.
As an extra security precaution, Google will send a text message to a provided mobile number or a note to a secondary email address that will give users a heads-up before data is deleted.
“We hope that this new feature will enable you to plan your digital afterlife—in a way that protects your privacy and security—and make life easier for your loved ones after you’re gone,” according to the Google team.
If you’re interested in checking out Inactive Account Manager, you can access it on your Google Accounts Settings page. Go to Account > Account Management, where you can proceed to Inactive Account Manager set up. As you configure the tool, you can specify a mobile number and email address at which to receive alerts, the length of the timeout period and up to 10 trusted contacts who should be notified that your account is inactive and receive your data, if you choose.
What do you think of Google’s Inactive Accounts Manager tool? Do you think other digital platforms should follow suit and offer similar data management features?