I know it sounds ghoulish, especially to Western ears unaccustomed to speaking about death and dying but, as people keep reminding me, the only two certainties in life are death and taxed. With regards taxes we luckily have Internal Revenue Services to chase us, but death leaves a few things unfinished.
In this digital age one of those things is all our data – from social networking profiles to email accounts. From internet banking to PayPal accounts. From eBay to Flickr.
A new service seeks to give digital natives some comfort over what will occur with these assets in their absence. For the sum of $29.99/year and $299.99/lifetime, Legacy Locker will store your important digital data and release it to your designated beneficiaries upon receipt of a death certificate.
The concept makes sense. More and more of our personal IP is tied up in digital assets now and, just as with our physical assets, we need to put in place strategies to ensure their continuation upon our passing.
Of course putting this much sensitive data in one place opens a whole can of worms around security and trust. Legacy Locker is quick to point out that they use 512-bt hash keys and vault-level security (whatever that means). But none of that guarantees that Legacy Locker will still be going in 50 years or so when I’m old and decrepit and simply can’t remember where my data is stored – for this reason I’d be a little nervous about relying on a private company for this sort of service.