A friend and colleague of mine, Tim Clague recently raised the issue of what happens to all his online data when he dies? For example he runs a successful blog which only he posts to, if he dies who will put that final post up there for his readers to let them know? The answer is nobody as no other person alive, even his wife knows his passwords.
It's an interesting problem all right for everybody who has ever had an online account, even if it's just something as simple as a Hotmail account. Does a spouse or partner have the rights to contact Hotmail and ask for their passwords?
Many people's lives are now stored virtually from contact lists, to accounts and appointments. The simple fact is people rarely write information down in a little black book anymore.
CNET News featured an article recently which dealt with the case of Willian Talcott, a poet who lived in San Francisco. He had a worldwide fan base but most of his contacts were stored online where his daughter could access them to spread the news of his death.
With the right documentation Google and Microsoft will release user account details but they are just 2 companies in a whole virtual world of passwords and user data.
Things have to change, that's for sure.
Is the answer is to hide a sealed envelope in a secure place with instructions in your will for the relevant loved one to hunt it out?
I really don't know what the answer is but there must be thousands of people experiencing this problem every single day?
What is your solution to all this?