Updated: Dec 20, 2021
What Happens to Our Cloud Data When We Are Gone?
Death is a topic most of us like to avoid, but it becomes a necessary consideration when discussing matters of inheritance. If you have a will or trust, you have probably considered what will happen with your material and financial assets, but have you thought about what will happen to your digital files? Gone are the days when you could leave your family with physical photo albums, slides, and film reels or tapes. More likely than not, you have pictures, emails, and other data spread out across various platforms like Google, Facebook, and iCloud storage. Your iPhone has finite storage capacity, so all of your overflow data is placed in iCloud, for which you pay a monthly fee based upon how much data you have stored. Currently, when you die, and cease payment on your cloud storage, Apple reserves the right to delete your data after 30 days. This means that all of your treasured photographs, family recipes, and other important files will be inaccessible to your loved ones, and possibly deleted forever.
How is Apple Addressing This Concern?
Fortunately, many companies have responded to the growing need for digital inheritance policies. Facebook and Instagram allow you to assign a legacy contact who will be granted access to your account after you die. Google will also enable your next of kin to access certain files in the case of your death. You can, and should include your iPhone login information in your will so that loved ones can access data stored within your phone. But there is still a need to ensure that they will have access to your pictures and files stored in iCloud. This Fall, Apple is launching its new legacy feature which guarantees that your iCloud data will be released to your heirs.
Secure Your Legacy
This feature is scheduled to debut with Apple’s iOS15, though it is not available quite yet. When it does become available, you can set up the legacy feature on your iPhone, but it will require going through a series of steps in your phone settings. Once you have identified a loved one as your legacy contact, they will have access to your iCloud data in the case of your death. You don’t need to worry about end-to-end encrypted data such as credit card login information as that will not be included in the data released to your legacy contact. Your assigned contact will be given a key, which will not be activated until Apple has been shown proof of death, usually through a death certificate. This is great news for iPhone users, and will give you the peace of mind that your digital memories will be enjoyed even after you are gone.
If you are intimidated by the process, or just don’t have the time to set up your legacy contact, there are trained professionals who can help you secure your irreplaceable memories for the next generation to enjoy. In fact, our iCloud Digital Legacy Setup Service is launching soon! Interested in having one of our professional technicians support you through this process once the legacy feature is released? You can join the waitlist by clicking below!