Apple has introduced a new iOS feature called Digital Legacy which allows users to choose up to five people who will be able to access their data and personal information stored in iCloud after they pass away.
Today nearly everyone has a smartphone, and we are all accumulating data and producing all kinds of digital content to capture our memories and there will be a time when we leave all of that behind for others to remember us by.
Digital Legacy makes that a whole lot easier.
The feature is still in a developer beta and will be part of an iOS software update soon.
It will give users the option of designating up to five legacy contacts who would be authorised to access memories like photos, videos, documents and other data.
Today we carry so many precious memories on our devices and store them not only on our iPhones but also in iCloud as well.
We’ve had numerous emails from heartbroken readers and listeners who wanted to access the device of a loved one who had suddenly passed away but were unable to access that content because it was secured with a password they didn’t know.
With Digital Legacy, that will no longer be an issue.
Facebook has a similar feature called Memorialization which allows you to select one legacy contact to look after your account after you pass away.
When Apple’s Digital Legacy feature is available you will be able to add a legacy contact through your iPhone and from your Mac.
On your iOS device you simply go to settings and click on your name > Password & Security.
From there you’ll see under legacy contact your options to choose a member of your family if you are already using family sharing or someone else using their email or phone number.
On your Mac, go to system preferences > Apple ID > Password and Security.
If you and your legacy contact are using the same version of iOS, which includes digital legacy, you can contact them via my message when you add them.
If they choose to accept, they will automatically store a copy of the access key in their Apple ID settings.
If they decline being a legacy contact, you’ll receive a notification so you can choose somebody else.
You can also choose to add up to five legacy contacts.
If you add a legacy contact who isn’t using the software or maybe on an Android device, they won’t have access to the legacy contact settings on their device but you can print the access key and give it to them, send them a PDF of the page or save a copy with your estate planning documents.
Your legacy contact must have a copy of this access key to gain access to your account after your death.
After your loved one passes away, the legacy contact can request access.
Once approved, the activation lock on the person’s device and iCloud account will be removed.
It will also be possible to restore their data from an iCloud backup.
The contact will be able to access iCloud data, Apple ID account data and things like photos, notes and mail.
What they won’t be able to access is payment information, subscriptions, licenced media or data like passwords stored in a keychain.
All this information will be accessible either through a browser or from apple devices.
Once access is requested, the legacy contact will have a limited time to access their data and account.
On the expiration date, the loved one’s account and data is deleted.