Google launches death app

The search engine giant will still be doing things for you after you die - that's if you sign up for their new 'after death' software which deletes all your data when you kick the bucket.

by Michael Northcott
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013

It’s one of the eerie things about the internet – all your data is stored on a hard disk in some Utah-based data centre, but when you die, it stays there like a sort of unseen digital shrine. 

At least, that’s how it used to be. Today Google announced a new feature that will delete your accounts and data if it thinks you have died. The programme allows you to have accounts automatically deleted or sent on to specified relatives or loved ones after three, six, nine, or 12 months of inactivity. It includes Gmail, Google Plus (its social network), Google Docs and a lot of other bits and pieces. 

In a blog post, Google said: ‘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.’

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

I ran Iceland's central bank in 2009. Here's what I learned about crisis ...

And you thought your turnaround was tricky.

"It's easy to write a cheque you don't have to cash for 30 ...

But BP's new CEO has staked his legacy on going green.

AI opens up an ethical minefield for businesses

There will inevitably be unintended consequences from blindly adopting new technology.

The strange curse of No 11 Downing Street

As Sajid Javid has just discovered, “chancellors come and go… the Treasury endures forever”.

Men are better at self-promotion than women

Research shows women under-rate their performance even when they have an objective measure of how...

When doing the right thing gets you in trouble

Concern with appearances can distort behaviour, as this research shows.