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What happens to our digital data after death?

Digital legacy: what future for our digital data after we die?

On average, it is estimated that every 4 minutes, an Internet user with a Facebook account dies.
Its digital data are immortal, and therefore still accessible to all... Some of our social networks are becoming virtual cemeteries, if loved ones have not taken the necessary steps. What could be worse than receiving a notification about your deceased brother, who was due to celebrate his 50th birthday today? One thing's for sure: after our death, our social network profiles, photos and videos remain active, if nobody does anything about it. In fact, it's important to be aware of the future of our digital heritage. Especially if we tend to store all our memories in the Cloud. Even more so, if you're a Bitcoin investor, or the owner of a digital asset (a work of art, for example), and your e-wallet is well-stocked.

First of all, what is digital data?

On average, 2.5 trillion bytes of data are created every day: by sending our emails, posting our videos and photos, buying online, using GPS location signals and much more. Digital data is the information that Big Data stores. By connecting to the Internet, we create data, and in particular personal data. The CNILdefines personal data as "any information relating to a natural person who can be identified, directly or indirectly. When you create your login on social networks, you also collect personal data such as your surname, first name, date of birth, postal address and e-mail address. For more specialized sites, you can enter your telephone number, social security number and bank account details. These are known as sensitive digital data. Your documents, photos, videos and comments are also digital data, and much more besides. your digital assets . The digital heritage represents all our personal data stored on the Internet or on different data carriers such as the Cloud. Your digital data is systematically protected by passwords. Depending on your skills, here's what constitutes a digital asset for an Internet user: - online accounts Your neo-bank accounts (Orange Bank, N26, Eko, Revolut mobile banks), crypto-currency services (bitcoin), crypto NFTs (non-fungible tokens). - Email accounts Gmail (with Google) and Hotmail (with Microsoft). - Online services Backup your data on the Cloud service. - Online profiles your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Skype accounts. - Servers and domain names Your OVH account or SSH keys to access the servers

What is the future of my digital accounts (social networks, emails, digital bank accounts, cryptocurrencies, NFTs), after my death?

In the event of sudden deathYour personal data will remain unchanged: your inboxes will continue to receive emails, your friends and followers will continue to be identified on posts, and direct debits from your bank accounts will continue. Digital life goes on, and yet your heirs will have to deal with a multitude of formalities in order to recover your digital heritage. Without directives concerning the retention, deletion and communication of your personal data after your death (article 63 of the law of October 7, 2016 for a digital Republic ), your heirs can only close your user accounts (Lemaire law on the right to digital death) or turn your profiles into commemorative pages (for social networks). In the absence of any information relating to your accounts (site names, passwords) your digital data may be lost, forgotten or hacked! For example, if you are an investor in crypto-currencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin), if you have not left any information about your decryption key to access your e-wallet, your digital assets will be lost forever. The same goes for NFTs "Non-Fungible TokenYour tokens will be lost if no instructions have been left on your part. Not to mention access to your accounts from mobile banks (neo-banks such as Orange Bank or Revolut), which are not always established in France and registered with notaries. This makes it difficult for your heirs or the notary handling your estate to trace your accounts. Worse still, your videos, photos, important documents stored in the cloud and your e-mail account (of great sentimental value to your loved ones), will never be communicated to them by the platforms.

What are the solutions to avoid losing all my digital assets?

The important thing is to prepare well the legacy of your digital data. All you have to do is follow these tips:  

➡ Tip #1: Build a clear digital legacy

It is essential that while you are still alive, you already have a clear analysis of what is important or not to keep as profiles and internet accounts. So take the time to delete the accounts that you consider useless.  

➡ Tip #2: Create your digital will

All site names, logins, access codes, keys and private addresses must be carefully noted. Especially when it comes to your digital data and online banking services. It's important to consider how your heir will be able to recover your password. Therefore, you can use password managers and pass on the master password. This solution is not perfect, since the master password can be lost or misused. You can also prepare a precautionary power of attorneyBy leaving a record of your cryptocurrency transactions. Including transaction dates, purchase or transfer receipts, cryptocurrency value at the time of sale, e-wallet records, cryptocurrency addresses, accounting and legal fees. Also let your loved ones know your wishes, i.e. whether you'd like certain profiles to be closed and your cloud albums, passed on to them. Make your choice and let us know in advance at the same time, an executor.  

➡ Tip #3: Opt for a digital safe

The digital safe (such as Legapass) to facilitate the transmission of your digital data. The first step is to fill in all access information to your digital services, to create your own offline safe. Secondly, you will indicate the identity of your legatees. You can add instructions and wishes to your records at any time, via a remote connection. After your death, the service will inform your heirs of the existence of this safe. By using this procedure, you can be sure that your data will be passed on securely, that your wishes will be respected and, above all, that the future of your digital data will be safeguarded. So don't wait any longer to create your account.

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The value of your digital assets is inestimable. 💎
The value of your digital assets is inestimable. 💎