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Friday, January 28, 2022

Apple makes sure you don’t take iCloud data to the grave


Apple has released its latest iOS update which, among other things, allows a user to name ‘heirs’ who can access their personal iCloud data when they die.

The new Digital Legacy program featured in Apple’s iOS 15.2 beta version was made available to developers on Tuesday, so far for testing purposes only. It lets users designate as many as five people as ‘Legacy Contacts’, who will be able to unlock their iCloud account in case of their death. The access key is shared with the contacts the person chooses as their digital heirs during their lifetime, and automatically stored in the Legacy Contacts’ Apple ID, if they agree to take on that role.

The current iteration of iOS makes it next to impossible even for grieving relatives to get their hands on a deceased person’s data, such as photographs, for example. In one case back in 2016, Apple demanded a Canadian widow obtain a court order to unlock her late husband’s account. Another similar case that year saw an Italian dad who had lost his son to cancer plead with Apple to give him access to the deceased teen’s iPhone, apparently to no avail.

The Digital Legacy program will be made available to all users once iOS 15.2 is fully launched, while platforms such as Google and Facebook already offer similar features.

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