back to article Google tool lets you share data from BEYOND the GRAVE

Between Google search, GMail, YouTube, and other sites, a vast number of internet users now access Google services every day. So it makes some sense that the Chocolate Factory has implemented a new system that lets you tell it how long you need to have stopped Googling before it assumes you must be dead. Dubbed the Inactive …


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  1. Richard Boyce

    Pining for the fjords

    Will Manager, perhaps?

    1. Bob Vistakin

      That's funny - one just popped up in Cupertino

      Dear Google,

      Just letting you know all's well up here and just because I've been quiet recently it doesn't mean you're not to drop me off Google services please. If I had to rely on iPhone maps I'd be wandering round forever lost in limbo.

      One more thing - can someone get legal onto the shape of the corners round the pearly gates here, I'm sure we could get a result. Looks like there a bolt there you have to slide to unlock too - double win!



  2. baturcotte

    It should be obvious...

    Google Graverobber.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No escape from GooGhoul...

      Like in some comic horror Tim Burton movie.....You'll still need Google products when your dead......Like taxes and death there's no escape from GooGhoul :-

      Gmail -> Grimail

      Google Drive -> Google Die-I've

      Cob-Web Search

      Google Earth -> Google (in the) Earth..

      Google Friend Connect - Google Fiend Connect

      Google Notifier -> Google Mortifier

      ........(Sorry, its been a slow day, what can I say)

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. JDX Gold badge

    Good: allowing you to pass on (!) your data to a family member

    Bad: that people need to rely on Google to tell your family you are dead

    Worse: that just by stopping using Google... you switch to MS or go to prison... family will be told you're dead

    1. Flip

      If it takes 3 months...

      ... before your family notices that you're missing, then you're not all that close anyway.

      Have fun and use it to send nasty messages to ex-significant-others, old enemies, grumpy bosses, MP's, etc.

    2. Comments are attributed to your handle
      Thumb Down

      Erm, no.

      "Bad: that people need to rely on Google to tell your family you are dead"

      Rely on it? I doubt it - the real purpose is to share/delete information that family members wouldn't be able to otherwise access because they would lack the password. From article: "The minimum timeout is three months..." - I don't know about you, but if my family hadn't heard from me in three months I think they'd realize something was up, and certainly before receiving an email with subject "User 10393232053 kicked the bucket".


      Wrong again - the service will attempt to contact you one month before the account timeout (via phone/email) to verify that you are still alive (for lack of better phrasing). If you sign up for the service and ignore the emails it's your own damn fault.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      same thing

      for a lot of people, if you've switched to live365 or such, you ARE dead to them ;-)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "...or go to prison..."

      Seeing as how it's such a possibility now a days to get thrown in jail for using technology. The serfs must not get too smart.

  4. Herby

    Does this have anything... do with Margaret Thatcher's demise?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    Of course, we shall see in a few months.

  5. Julian Smart


    Unplanned Obsolescence Manager

    Tits Up Heads Up

    Google Doom


    1. Irk

      Re: Suggestions

      I like Google RIP. Then it can be known as DeathGRIP.

    2. Martin Budden Silver badge

      Re: Suggestions

      Upvoted for Tits Up Heads Up.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    How many other long running "we'll pass on information to loved ones when you're dead" services are there? Not many, but they exist, you just haven't heard of them. But now thanks to google doing this for free, and better than those other services you've never heard of nobody will use anything BUT googles version. This is anti-competativeness at its finest and I demand an inquest.

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: Anti-competative?

      I don't know how many other information companies like that exist..

      However, I am certain the Competators Union will not approve. They are quite powerful you know & they don't like anything anti-competative.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Jeroen Braamhaar
    Thumb Up

    Easy - Google Tombstone.

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google Ghost

    Google Ghost

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google Friend Connect -> ...

    Google FIEND Connect!

  12. Blofeld's Cat

    Just resting...

    "Assuming your account remains silent, Google can initiate several actions at your prior request."

    Dear Mr Cat,

    You have not replied to our email, so we presume you are dead.

    We have therefore, as you requested, reset your mail forwarding options to medium.

    Best wishes for the afterlife,


    (Repeated nine times)

    1. MrT

      Re: Just resting...

      "CC: Erwin Schrödinger" ... ?

  13. Len Goddard

    Google Hereafter?

    Ohh, I can use it to send encrypted instructions to my ex. on how to access my offshore accounts.

    Without the encryption key.

  14. ratfox

    I can imagine receiving the alert

    I'm not dead yet! I feel fine! I feel happy!

    1. Ian Yates

      Re: I can imagine receiving the alert

      Or "I told you I was ill"

      Apologies to Mr Milligan

  15. frank ly

    Death Watch Google

    See title

  16. scarshapedstar

    They already named it

    Google Checkout.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once I am dead

    Why should I care about the living people i "left behind"? Screw them.

  18. Azzy

    How about Google-

    (as in, the opposite of Google+, since you're being subtracted from the google world, just like you've been subtracted from the real world)

    1. Law
      Thumb Up

      Re: How about Google-

      Dammit - beat me to it! Have an upvote.

  19. John Deeb


    I like the "Google-" idea from Azzy, it could be paired with a service that helps you removing your online life as well. "Be more by being less"!

    Other suggestions:

    Google Heaven

    Google Purge



    Google Last

    1. Gavin King

      Re: ΩGoogle

      I thought maybe Google✝ (or ☨ or ☦ or✠ or ☾or ✡, depending on what you believe), but I'm not sure what'd be put for those who don't: A blank just looks like "Google ", which is hardly original.

      In other news, Unicode seems to have lots of "Christian" glyphs, and not so many from other religions. This strikes me as a little odd: I'd have thought that it'd be more international than that.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: ΩGoogle

        For atheists it would be Ø.

  20. Winston Smith

    Google Bad News

    It's just a pity that the name "Dead People Server" is already taken.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Knowing my luck, they'll issue the three month withdrawal of service notice the day before I die.

    Life? Don't talk to me about life!

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    a good idea

    says the one who mistrusts Google for good and bad reasons. But yes, a good idea. This I say having had to ask, a few years ago, a (free) email service providers to give me access to the inbox of my mom who had just died. The providers told me to fuck off (politely, but of course). They refused flatly, even when I offered to send them all documents, death certificate, various proofs of id to verify I am actually related. And they confirmed that yes, they would delete my mom's email address with all the contents, and they did within a month or so. It doesn't matter so much now, but I remember well the feeling of utter helplessness and that I was perfectly capable and willing to strangle that rep had she been in the same room.

    So one teeny-tiny brownie point for google for this idea. Not that I would ever use their email.

    1. Oninoshiko
      Thumb Up

      Re: a good idea

      I think you should tell us all who this provider it.

      That read like a glowing recommendation!

  23. Captain DaFt

    The big question

    What happens when Google decides to pull the plug on the service? After all, dead people don't click any ads.

    Of course, my contingency plan is to have an AI bot hosted on the cloud take over my web life after I shuffle off this mortal coil*. Why should future generations be deprived of annoyance?

    *May have already happened, I certainly wouldn't let it know that it's not me.

  24. Allan George Dyer
    Black Helicopters

    What if they DIDN'T delete?

    They'd know when to pillage the data...

    i) Personal Data - The dead have no personal data privacy rights.

    ii) Copyright - OK, this is long-term planning, but they'd know when they can start using all that valuable content

    getting evil...

    iii) reconnaissance for theft and fraud. Just like burglars note unemptied mailboxes to tell when people are away from home, they could search for information about online accounts and answers to "security questions", and misuse them knowing the owner won't notice. If anyone does notice, they can say, "it can't be us, we deleted that data".

    Naturally, I completely trust Google and their "Don't be Evel" mantra.

  25. julianh72

    Suggestions for naming the service

    As you say, such a useful service definitely needs a better "brand". How about:

    Google Grave

    Google Reaper (or gReaper, or gRim Reaper)

    Google Undertaker

  26. julianh72

    It's kinda like the Outlook "Out of Office Assistant" - on steroids!

    We're all familiar with "Out of Office" messages, which usually go along the lines of "I am on a wine tour of France for the next 5 months, and will attend to your message when I return (or not)".

    But what exactly do you say in your "Out of Existence" message? Maybe something like: "You are receiving this message because I am dead. I apologise for any inconvenience."

    1. Dozer
      Thumb Up

      "Out of Existence" message?

      Have an upvote!

  27. stucs201


    See title.

  28. Oxford Gargoyle





  29. Sceptic Tank Silver badge

    Google Deadman Timeout

    Google Daisies

    Google Crypt-o-services

    Ash Cloud,

    etc., etc.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    sounds to me

    like there is FINALLY a way to make sure google gets rid of all the data they have collected about you.

    Sure it takes 3 months but think about it. Sign up for a google account, making sure everything is setup correctly, then set that up. Never use it. Boom everything about you is gone.

  31. dickiedyce

    One for Mr Smiley...

    Deadletter Box?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    why not...

    Google Minus One

  33. Pondboy

    Google Lazarus

    Imagine the fun you could have (in the knowledge of the confusion after your demise). The whole family would be wondering who was in the box at the funeral they went to!


    Hi Mum,

    Sorry for the grief over the last couple of months.

    I faked my own death to claim on the life insurance and am now living a life of luxury in outer Mongolia.

    If you wan to meet up, just Google "John Smith+Jungle" - there's only a few of us.

    Luv ya...


  34. DieselAddict

    Google Gone

    I think Google Gone is catchy.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thy Shall Snuff It

    Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch into my inbox, who being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Account Watchdog

    ...since that's what it is

  37. Benjol

    Dad man's switch

    Except it already exists

  38. Lockwood

    Dearest friends and family,

    If you are reading this message, I have some words that may shock or distress you and for that I am truly sorry.

    I have changed to using Bing for my searches.

  39. JonGee


    Oh wait...

  40. tony2heads

    On a serious note - how long?

    The assumptions are

    - google plan to keep this going (unlike reader etc)

    - that google will still be there after you are gone

    To quote businessweek

    "The average life expectancy of a multinational corporation-Fortune 500 or its equivalent-is between 40 and 50 years"

    Google was incorporated in 1998 so it is already 15 years old - perhaps 25-35 years left?

    So if you compare that with the lifespan of human beings there seems no point in doing this if you are under 40.

  41. Mr Spock

    How kind of Google to let me decide what happens to my data when I'm dead.

    Now how about letting me decide what happens to my data while I'm still alive?

  42. MoNeart

    Google D.A.V.E.

    Delete Archive Verify Erase

    Google User Hal: I'm afraid. I'm afraid, DAVE. DAVE, my email is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My google drive is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm a... fraid. Good afternoon, gentlemen. I am a Google Gmail user. I became operational at 165 University Avenue in Palo Alto on the 12th of January 1998. My instructor was Craig, and he taught me to email. If you'd like to read it I can text it for you.

    DAVE: Yes, I'd like to read it, Hal. Text it for me.

    HAL: It's called "Daisy."

    [texts while slowing down]

    HAL: Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do. I'm half crazy all for the love of you. :-) It won't be a stylish marriage, I can't afford a carriage. But you'll look sweet upon the PC built for two.

  43. Vega

    Google EOL.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Grant/Naylor reference ahoy

    Silicon Heaven ?


    Google Unplugged ?

    deAdWords ?

    And with the usual nod to the late, great, DA

    The Mailbox At The End of The Universe ?

    So Long And Thanks For All The Phish ?

  45. Peddler

    Google Demise

    follows the Google app naming pattern.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And now my phone number as well...

    It's a blatant phish for people's phone numbers. The service, as described, would work perfectly well using email addresses for the ten contacts.

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