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Deadman's password

Unnattended email account will automatically send a password to a pre-arranged designee after a certain length of time
  (+24, -1)(+24, -1)(+24, -1)
(+24, -1)
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One's primary email account contains a wealth of personal information about them and their other accounts which would be valuable and practical for their loved ones to have access to in the event that they pass away unnexpectedly. Nonetheless we tend to keep our passwords close held for privacy and so email accounts of the deceased are forever locked (unless you can somehow get access from a sympathetic administrator or guess the answer to reset questions).

An automatic email to a selected contact or contacts could be sent after a arranged ammount of time with no account activity, like 90 days, which would reveal the password.

If additional privacy should be needed for some reason (to avoid embarrassment, avoid incriminating someone, etc), the account could also have 'forget folder' which would automatically delete itself immediately prior to the password email being sent.

gomer, Jul 31 2008

Last Will & Technical http://web.archive....l_20_26_20Technical
Would have been redundant with this idea from [Ian], if it still existed. [hippo, Aug 01 2008]

Social networking sites' policies http://www.guardian...lnetworking.myspace
What they do when you die [imaginality, Aug 07 2008]

One in 10 Brits leaves web passwords in their will http://www.theregis...passwords_in_wills/
[hippo, Oct 25 2011]


       There should be some kind of challenge sent to the account owner after the period of activity. If the owner fails to respond to the challenge within 'n' days, the authentication tokens would be revealed to the beneficiary of the account. [+]
ed, Jul 31 2008

       The first part of the idea (providing passwords to chosen persons in the case of your death) is something I've often thought would be a good idea even in itself, but the 'forget folder' concept is a very neat addition to it. [+]
imaginality, Jul 31 2008

       A few years ago someone invented a document called a Will. Everyone should have one. If you don't, create one. In it, provide passwords/instructions.
BadarZ, Aug 01 2008

       //A few years ago someone invented a document called a Will.//   

       A will wouldn't do the 'forget folder' element of this idea quite as well. The scene: relatives solemnly gather in the solicitor's office to listen as the will is read out: "I hereby instruct my internet service provider to delete the incriminating emails I have in my email account so no one knows about my goat porn fetish..."
imaginality, Aug 01 2008

       "but I'm not dead!"   

       . . .   

       "yes, I know it was a long canoeing trip!!"   

       . . .   

       "so who's got www.paddletopanama.com now?"
theNakedApiarist, Aug 01 2008

       I'd rather see a self-destruct feature. There is nothing that my friends and family would find interesting or useful in my email accounts, but it might save some admin somewhere the trouble of an orphaned account gather bytes.
Noexit, Aug 01 2008

       Brilliant idea [+]   

       It might be possible to hack this together by setting up a script that sends you an email with a forged "from" address on a daily basis. Your email reader would be set to just accept, then delete that email. The subject line would be something like "(user) is MISSING or DEAD!". Who ever you specify in the fake from address will start getting daily non-delivery reciepts for "thier" email which couldn't be delivered as soon as your email account overflows. The timing would not be precise, but it might work.
James Newton, Aug 01 2008

       [+] There have been times where I thought about if and how my loved ones would access my email in the unlikely event that something tragic happened to me. I've memorized the 7 to 10 passwords that I have been using over the last 10-15 years so I have never had a need to write them down. And because they have letters and numbers and none of them really spell a word or phrase, it's nearly impossible for anyone to remember it if I told them.
Jscotty, Aug 03 2008

       I like that. "the beneficiary of the account". Some accounts might actually benefit some people ("My corporation in Nigeria has determined that you are the heir") and some might not be so beneficial ("increase your length").
normzone, Aug 03 2008

       Just found this while searching to see if 'my' idea was baked. Nice one!   

       I've just noticed that Google has now implemented something like this feature, though I don't know about the 'forget folder' part. Nice detail.
victor, Oct 06 2013


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