scorecardresearch

Worried about your Google data after your death? Google Inactive Account Manager offers some help

Unless users enable the Inactive Account Manager, Google will not share their data from Drive, Blogger, Mail and YouTube with anyone even after they have stopped accessing their accounts.

Ever wondered what happens to your Google account when you die? If it remains untouched, it is likely to lose all data documents in two years, given that there is enough storage for that account to last for two years. If not, Google account users will get a grace period of seven days with no penalties after which their Google accounts will not store new data nor will they send or receive emails, upload new files to Google Drive, or sync any photos with Google.Google allows users to enable settings beforehand that will notify their loved ones in the event of their death or in case users are not able to get access to their accounts.

For such incidents, Google also allows users to enable the Inactive Storage Manager that allows users to "decide when Google should consider your account to be inactive" and what it should do with user's data afterward. Users can share their data with someone they trust or ask Google to delete it.
Google users can go to https://myaccount.google.com/inactive to enable changes in case of their absence. Google users can thus set up the Inactive Accounts Manager for trusted contacts to download data included in their Blogger, Drive, Mail and YouTube.

If users do not set their Inactive Account Manager, loved ones of the inactive account user can request Google to close the account of a deceased user, submit a request for funds from a deceased user's account and obtain data from a deceased user's account. Users will be required to fill a form for a deceased user's account. The form will require the person putting in the request to fill in the following details -- full name of the deceased person, email address of the deceased person, first and last name of the relative or legal representative, email address of relative/legal representative, full address, date of death, choose which of Google's platforms you need access to (Gmail, Drive, Google Photos, YouTube, etc), upload a scan of your government-issued ID or driver's license, the decedent's death certificate, plus any additional documents

PhoneArena notes that before this form is submitted, Google also requires the requester to agree that once their initial request is accepted, they will need to obtain a court order issued in the United States for which Google promises to provide the necessary language for the court order. Google had announced that it would delete accounts that have been inactive for 2 years from June 1, 2021, and that for two years no data will be touched or deactivated. Google also notes that it will not share passwords, credentials, or unauthorised access, posthumous or not.