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#20400 - 01/28/12 11:54 AM Digital privacy after death
alternaut Offline

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Registered: 08/04/09
This topic could be seen as an addendum or footnote to several ongoing Lounge threads, including Ad Astra, Cyber Security and others like it.
Digital death – what happens online when you die? Have you considered digital resurrection?



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#20418 - 01/29/12 08:29 AM Re: Digital privacy after death [Re: alternaut]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
I tend to be very careful not only with where I go or what I say on-line, but also with stuff on my drive. As a guide I just ask myself "If I croaked this minute, is there anything would not want as part of my legacy?"

Although the answers will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, the enduring on-line legacy raises interesting questions such as, "If a person libelled someone, but it was not known until exposed after death, could that person's estate be sued successfully?"

With societies generally becoming more and more litigious, someone is sure to try.


Edited by ryck (01/29/12 08:34 AM)
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#20428 - 01/29/12 01:52 PM Re: Digital privacy after death [Re: ryck]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
When it comes to things like restricting what I say online for fear of what other people will think of me, I believe this XKCD strip sums up my feelings quite nicely. No matter who you are, no matter what you say or do, some people won't like you. That's a fact as inescapable as the law of gravity. To limit yourself for fear of other people might think seems to me to be one of the most soul-killing of all human activities.

Indeed, I make a point of talking openly about the things that are important to me, even if other people find that threatening, precisely because they are important to me. I want my legacy to reflect the things I believe in--even the unpopular or controversial ones. We as a society make progress away from the muck of prejudice, superstition, and ignorance only when people are willing to say what they believe in despite it happening to contradict the popular bigotries of the day.

There was a time when talking about women voting, or interracial marriage being OK, was considered shocking and horrifying--something that polite people would never, ever do. These things exist today because of the courage of folks willing to be impolite and willing to risk their legacy for the sake of ideas that violated the sensibilities of the day.

You bet I talk about the things I believe in online, and you bet I want the things I write online to live beyond me. The alternative, to go from cradle to grave by the path of least resistance without ever once uttering a peep that someone might take exception to, seems to me to be dying before I have ever even lived.
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#20429 - 01/29/12 03:12 PM Re: Digital privacy after death [Re: tacit]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
You make interesting points but I think you misunderstood my post.

Originally Posted By: tacit
When it comes to things like restricting what I say online for fear of what other people will think of me.....

Originally Posted By: tacit
No matter who you are, no matter what you say or do, some people won't like you.

To limit yourself for fear of other people might think seems to me to be one of the most soul-killing of all human activities.

None of the above is what I meant by "If I croaked this minute, is there anything would not want as part of my legacy?" And, my legal question was not connected to that thought, so perhaps it should have been a separate post.

The only people I worry about, post my passing, are my family. My wife and daughters will never find anything on-line or on my drive that would cause them to gasp, to be ashamed, or to be unable to stand up for me. That's important to me and that will never change - for anything.

Originally Posted By: tacit
Indeed, I make a point of talking openly about the things that are important to me, even if other people find that threatening, precisely because they are important to me.

I do too, and I do so strongly, but I am very careful not to lie or otherwise libel anyone. Again, the reason is family. I simply will not do anything that could endanger what I have built and intend for them to have so that their lives will be better after I am gone. Again, that will never change - for anything.

Originally Posted By: tacit
There was a time when talking about women voting, or interracial marriage being OK, was considered shocking and horrifying--something that polite people would never, ever do. These things exist today because of the courage of folks willing to be impolite and willing to risk their legacy for the sake of ideas that violated the sensibilities of the day.

No one will disagree with that point, however it's well outside anything intended in my post.

Originally Posted By: tacit
You bet I talk about the things I believe in online, and you bet I want the things I write online to live beyond me.

I don't think I've said anything yet on-line that warrants being recorded for posterity. If there are words I want to live beyond me, they would be the many conversations I've had with my daughters over a lot of years - and I would hope the words are manifested in the way my daughters conduct their lives. And I think they should make the decision whether any words we've exchanged should be shared with others.

Originally Posted By: tacit
....to go from cradle to grave by the path of least resistance without ever once uttering a peep that someone might take exception to, seems to me to be dying before I have ever even lived.

You're talking to a guy who, twice in his career, laid it all on the line in defense of people who had been wronged. And twice my wife stood by my side even though we might have ended up looking for work. Take it from me, that's a lot more stressful that worrying whether someone is going to get their nose out of joint just because you tweaked it.


Edited by ryck (01/29/12 04:31 PM)
Edit Reason: Grammar, not substance
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#20430 - 01/29/12 03:24 PM Re: Digital privacy after death [Re: ryck]
alternaut Offline

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Registered: 08/04/09
To kick in somewhat of an open door, I consider tacit's post an excellent 'flip side' addition to the premises of the site linked to in my OP, which focus on potential problems with one's digital legacy. That's understandable given the site's background, but still something we all should at least be aware of, as I think you were when you wrote your original reply.
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#20431 - 01/29/12 04:22 PM Re: Digital privacy after death [Re: alternaut]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: alternaut
That's understandable given the site's background, but still something we all should at least be aware of, as I think you were when you wrote your original reply.

Yes. I'm one of those people who considers himself as having "his house in order" but the site opens questions I had not yet considered but will now....and will take appropriate measures, after figuring out what they might need to be.

One of the things I have done is let my family know the password to my Passwords Plus so that they can get access to any and all of my accounts. That would allow them to access the accounts as though they were me, providing a lot of flexibility.


Edited by ryck (01/29/12 04:23 PM)
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#20445 - 02/01/12 12:51 AM Re: Digital privacy after death [Re: alternaut]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
For me, the things I am most likely to think about are exactly the opposite--how to keep all my words on the Internet indefinitely.

If I am run over by a bus tomorrow, all my various Web sites and such would likely disappear shortly thereafter as soon as I stopped paying the bills. Something that I'd quite like to arrange, but haven't figured out a way to take care of yet, is some way to keep all that stuff going--keep all my sites alive even if I wasn't. I've put a lot of work, time, thought, and effort into a great deal of the writing that I have online, and I think that the things I've written would continue to have value even if I disappear.
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#20447 - 02/01/12 06:15 AM Re: Digital privacy after death [Re: tacit]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: Tacit
how to keep all my words on the Internet indefinitely

That could be done, all it takes is money. That, or enough other people who agree your words are worth saving.
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#20458 - 02/02/12 08:27 AM Re: Digital privacy after death [Re: tacit]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: tacit
Something that I'd quite like to arrange, but haven't figured out a way to take care of yet, is some way to keep all that stuff going--keep all my sites alive even if I wasn't.

Maybe you should consider NOT going it alone. There may be lots of people in the same situation - who've amassed a body of written work, and it want it to be around after they're gone. If so, the problem isn't the only thing you have in common. So is the solution.

Applying the solution (whatever it might be) to a single individual may not be feasible but applying it jointly to a large group might. For example, if you thought all your stuff should be in one place forever, you have all kinds of problems not only with cost but with ongoing administration.

However, if the concept became a single repository for the product of all amateur writers in the world, regardless of language, you may have an idea that's feasible in spite of the fact that the project will be large. You could think of this site as a possible model.

You'd need some criteria for participation otherwise, if you published every amateur poet who ever wrote a single poem, you'd be inundated. If you included all languages, you'd make the site of interest to a much wider audience. You'd also be anticipating the day when people will read in their own language something written in another.

And, having mass, particularly in lots of languages, might make it easier to monetize the operation, which addresses ongoing costs. You'd need an editorial board which might take care of ongoing administration.

Et cetera, et cetera. Or I could just be talking through my hat.


Edited by ryck (02/02/12 08:28 AM)
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#20493 - 02/03/12 02:56 PM Re: Digital privacy after death [Re: ryck]
joemikeb Offline
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Sounds like a job for Wikipedia to me.
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#20495 - 02/03/12 03:08 PM Re: Digital privacy after death [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Sounds like a job for Wikipedia to me.

"cryopedia.com" is for sale,
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#20500 - 02/03/12 04:43 PM Re: Digital privacy after death [Re: joemikeb]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
I'm not sure that a wiki would be a good way to archive a lot of online information. It particularly wouldn't be suitable to archiving Web sites intact.

The potential problem I see with such a library is that it'd be difficult to fund, and I'm not sure enough people want to preserve their online lives to make a viable business model, though it's certainly an interesting idea.
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#20504 - 02/03/12 06:02 PM Re: Digital privacy after death [Re: tacit]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: tacit
....I'm not sure enough people want to preserve their online lives to make a viable business model...

But doesn't it start with 'throwing in your line'? I'm not clued into social media but, from what I've read and heard, if I wanted lots of common interest input I'd get with the program.

As I recall, in brainstorming sessions the first rule is just to toss the idea out there and see what the group does with it.

You're plugged in to the social media so you have a way of floating your idea, however you decide to massage it, over a very wide area if only just see what happens. You may be surprised at a) the number of people who do have an interest and b) the ideas they have for making a good business model.
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