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What happens to email after you die

After my death, I will thee five gigs of spam, two gigs of love emails, 10 gigs of Twitter mafia invites, and no gigs of embarassing personal emails.

Well, perhaps this is what many of us would hope. The reality is, after we die, the fate of our emails—surely the digital weight of mountains—largely depends on company policy, according to news.com.au.

Here a taste of what they found:

Hotmail – Your email is chucked after 270 days of disuse. Sound to me like you don’t even have to be dead. You could be on extended vacation. In the event of death, Microsoft grants thine email to thy next of kin. The closest relative can access the email, however, only if they prove their identity and produce a death certificate.

Gmail – As with Microsoft, relatives will need a death certificate and proof of identity—but they also need to prove relationship with an email exchange.

Facebook – Facebook will actually help family members turn the loved one’s profile into a virtual, interactive shrine of sorts. Admin locks down the profile, so no one can get it and other sensitive information, such as statuses, get taken down. Facebook will also help family choose how the profile looks without letting anyone else into the account. Alternatively, if the family wishes, Facebook will also close the profile page.

Curious about what happens to your Yahoo and MySpace accounts? Read the full article.

If this interests you, you also might like tidbits on media law.

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