How Do We Protect Our Digital Legacy After Death?

This Friday, May 18, 2012, file photo shows Facebook's headquarters behind flowers in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook is stepping up its efforts to fight Ebola by adding a button designed to make it easier for its users to donate to charities battling the disease. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
This Friday, May 18, 2012, file photo shows Facebook’s headquarters behind flowers in Menlo Park, Calif. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

(BBC) – In the old days we stored our treasured memories in photo albums and paper diaries. Physical things which could be passed on in a will.

But now, in our online lives our memories – our thoughts, feelings and images – are scattered to the four winds of the internet, and stored on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

But who actually owns them? And how do we ensure that the people we want to inherit them, our loved ones, actually do?

Louise Palmer knows only too well how difficult it can be. Her 19-year-old daughter Becky loved sharing her life on Facebook.

When she fell terminally ill with a brain tumour, and lost speech and movement, Louise would log in with Becky to help her stay in touch with her friends.


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