One of the features that Apple has announced for iOS 15 is Legacy Contacts, a way to ensure that your digital life outlives you – if you want to.
The company has not yet launched it, saying only that “it is coming in a software update for iOS 15”, but there are signs that Apple is preparing for its presentation …
As we store more and more data digitally, there is a growing concern that all of it could be lost in the event of our death. In the past, we have emphasized the risk especially for family photos.
We have previously described in detail some of the steps you can take today, including leaving your device passwords and Apple ID credentials with a lawyer, along with a copy of your will.
First of all, consider including device passwords in your will letter. Without it, all data about them could become inaccessible. This could include things of immense sentimental value, such as family photos or a novel you’ve been working on […]
Your Apple ID also contains the key to everything you’ve ever bought from iTunes. Think about it. Once upon a time, your family could continue to enjoy your music, books, and movies simply by reaching for a CD, paperback, or DVD shelf. But every app, every piece of music, every TV show, every movie, every book or audio book you’ve ever bought through iTunes are inaccessible to them without your Apple credentials. It’s a huge amount of valuable property that I can’t easily access.
But Apple is trying to make the process easier with a new feature called Legacy Contacts.
Here’s how Apple summarizes this feature:
Digital Legacy allows you to designate people as legacy contacts so they can access your account and personal information in the event of your death.
The function will work like this. If you want one or more friends or family members to access your iCloud data after your death, you will be able to give them names and give them a security key. The key will not be usable while you are alive – Apple will only activate it if it is provided with proof of your death, which would otherwise be a copy of your death certificate.
It is worth noting that it is not everything your data will be available because some of it is protected by end-to-end encryption. This includes Apple card transactions, health information, key fob entries, and browser history.
Macworld noticed two signs of readiness to launch. First, the company updated its iCloud usage agreement.
With Digital Legacy, you can choose to add one or more contacts to access and download certain information in your account after your death.
If your named contacts provide proof of death to Apple and have the required key, they will automatically gain access to that specific account information and the activation lock will be removed from all of your devices. It is therefore your responsibility to update your contacts about digital heritage.
Second, Apple has a micro place for legacy contacts that will request access to your account and devices after your death.
Request access to the account of a deceased friend or family member. If you are an inherited contact for a deceased person, you can request access to their account and remove the activation lock from their devices.
There are links to up to two support documents, but they are currently redirecting to the main support page.
Of course, we will publish an instruction guide as soon as the Legacy Contacts function becomes active.
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