22 May 2010

Digital Death Day

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Candles shrine
On 20 May 2010 an event known as “Digital Death Day” brought together the businesses of social networking, data management and death care.

One of its organisers, Jennifer Holmes, says: “We have reached a critical mass of personal data online.”

She is referring to the billions of pages held by Facebook and other social networking sites, as well as blogs, online gaming sites… basically anything into which we put data… data which, in most cases, remains after we die.

So what should happen to it?

“There’s no standard practice across the industry yet. There are no norms for how digital assets are passed on to heirs,” says Kaliya Hamlin, another of Digital Death Day’s organisers.

And it could be the case that digital assets could have real-money value. Domain names can be sold for large sums of money and even Twitter accounts can be monetised with “sponsored tweets”.

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