Everybody Dies: How to Preserve Your Digital Legacy

By Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) –


“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

This quote from Ben Franklin has survived because he was a famous man in his time. But haven’t you said some clever things in your time? Maybe even tweeted them? In some respects, technology has democratized history. No longer are only the lives of the rich and famous carefully preserved—now everyone has exhaustive and detailed records of our lives in our emails, chats, social media posts, and more. In the not too distant future, we may be able to upload our digital lives to black boxes that write our biographies. In that world, how would you want your story told? What would you want included, and what secrets do you want to take to the grave?

In the future, there will be cultural rituals and legal procedures for unraveling a person’s digital estate after death. But for now, a patchwork of laws apply, creating a confusing and limited legal landscape for loved ones trying to manage the digital life of the deceased.

If you care about your digital life after death – and the sanity of those that will be tasked with managing it – you should take control of your digital legacy now.

This article was originally published on May 05, 2015 by Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT). Read more here.

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