Google’s New Inactive Account Manager

Google announced a new feature, the “Inactive Account Manager.” As much as many of us try to avoid the inevitable subject of death, Google has created a solution for inactive accounts. The Inactive Account Manager lets you tell Google what to do with the data from your Google accounts, including your Gmail messages, if your account goes inactive, presumably because you’ve passed away. You can have the data deleted after a set period of inactivity or you can allow a loved one to take over your Google accounts.

Google has built some safeguards into the system. You choose the time setting —so, if you should decide to unplug and travel the world for many months, make sure Google has a way to contact you. Google has much information about its users and this is a great feature to have added in case, someone passes or remains inactive for a long period of time. The Inactive Account Manager includes public and private data from Blogger; Contacts and Circles; Drive; Gmail; Google+ Profiles, Pages and Streams; Picasa Web Albums; Google Voice and YouTube.

Due to electronic privacy laws Google is prohibited from handing over information about people and in the case of Michelle Malkin, who had a very public battle with Google for not releasing data from her cousin’s accounts; who had gone missing in 2011 and was presumably dead, the new Inactive Account Manager may help families find closure and search for history within their family’s data.