What does Apple know and when did they know it

Apple ID. Account Recovery Contacts makes resetting your password and maintaining access to your account easier than ever. And a new Digital Legacy program lets you designate people as Legacy Contacts so they can access your account in the event of your death - coming later this year.

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19 Responses:

  1. Jayme says:

    Can I have your mannequins after you're gone?

  2. B says:

    I agree it's amusing, but I have a good friend who is younger than you die of a "literally out of the blue" heart attack about 18 months ago, so this is unfortunately no laughing matter. I begrudgingly applaud Apple for this, because it means someone you know will not need to go to a judge to get (insert tech company here) to give someone access to your account. And I can tell you this was not something his wife enjoyed doing.

    Or, to put in terms I know you'll appreciate: brass tacks it means the executor of your estate will not have to pay lawyers to go to court to get (random tech company) to hand over your account. Because that's the actual upshot (I'll omit the part where this could be emotionally painful to those paying the lawyers, since of course given the snark that's not guaranteed).

    • jrl says:

      Pretty sure the issue is with the copy editing, not the feature.

      • B says:

        Obviously, and it's actually funny. I am guessing the copywriter is young enough or sheltered enough that a peer has never died?

        But I just wanted to say "and also this is a unicorn-rare, useful, grounded in reality feature that 24 year old tech bro programmers basically never implement." So it'd be OK to also say "good work Apple, but FFS next time hire an older copy editor."

        As pointed out below, the process otherwise sucks. I.e. don't expect to see FB ever implement this.

        • Everett says:

          Copywriter here! I'm not going to try to make the case that we're all geniuses, but my forensic instincts tell me someone else added the footnote before it was published. This minor detail could have easily gone into the main paragraph while writing. (Footnotes are where you share unpleasant details — "sorry it hasn't launched yet" is nothing to be ashamed of).

          And anyway, more fingerprints: the hapless souls who are left to tack this stuff on at the 11th hour, because "it's not launching yet" wasn't in the brief, are also not the kind of people who think "well, if there has to be an asterisk, you'd put it after the word 'program' anyway."

          I might be projecting what I was like at 24, but I don't think the gravity of death is lost on youngsters who have to write stuff like this. Thinking about the reader is, like, the biggest part of the job, and I'll tell you who doesn't do that: marketing managers.

        • What do you mean by, "don't expect to see FB ever implement this"? Facebook has a "legacy contact" feature (https://www.facebook.com/help/1568013990080948). I have unfortunately had to use this.

    • Andrew Klossner says:

      the executor of your estate will not have to pay lawyers to go to court to get (random tech company) to hand over your account

      My family knows I have a file folder with everything they need to access all my accounts. (Of course, if that file folder gets stolen I'm screwed.)

  3. Zark Muckerberg says:

    I unsuccessfully tried to "memorialize" my mother's Facebook account two times. They said her death certificate didn't match her Facebook account, even though it totally did. Not wanting to subject myself to further emotional trauma by looking at that fucking death certificate ever again, I deleted her account.

    • jwz says:

      Great system they have there, where you have authority to do the one but not the other.

      • Zark Muckerberg says:

        Thank God she used a password manager and gave me access to it.

    • Dude says:

      FB's "legacy profiles" for the dead were always such a creepy idea that a theatre company made a play about it called Seen/By Everyone (it played in SF in 2018) in which the deceased's soul is trapped in the now-eternal FB profile.

      Reading your anecdote about your late mother just reminds us all that a rumoured name-change won't do much to improve FB's shitty rep.

    • Glaurung says:

      I ran into the same deal with Facebook when attempting to memorialize my partner's account. Basically, AFAIK, if the name their bot sees on the death certificate does not exactly match the name the dead person used on their account, the bot rejects it.

      I could have changed her name on the account to match what was on her certificate, but she hated her first name and never, ever used it. I wasn't about to make her screen name be something she would never have used, and that none of her friends would recognize. So I left the account "live" (with a new password, of course). Hopefully facebook will go belly up before I do, so I won't have to worry about my heirs having to wrangle her account as well as mine.

  4. Emma H says:

    At last, Tim Cook gets to do his end of act II villain reveal!

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