Digital inheritance

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


    The data that makes up people's online identities lies scattered across the virtual landscape, consisting of emails, photos, social network site interactions and more. Such data can have emotional, financial and intellectual significance. Yet the awkward question of what happens to this data when a user dies lies unanswered.

    In this presentation, I will outline 3 key problems, which I am seeking to address in an EPSRC-funded research program over the next 3 years
    (1) How do online applications need to change to allow users to nominate data
    inheritors? Currently, there is no obvious mechanism for the bequest of one's
    digital artefacts.
    (2) How do online applications need to change to facilitate inheritance of personal
    data in the inevitable event of a user's death?
    (3) What are the boundaries for the acceptable creation, ownership and
    management of online memorials which re-purpose inherited data, appropriate to UK cultural norms?

    The research program is cross-disciplinary, involving technologists, sociologists,
    psychologists and lawyers. We welcome observations and insights from the
    diverse disciplines represented at the conference.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages2
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2011
    EventCentre for Death & Society Conference - ‘Death & Dying in the Digital Age’ - Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institute, Bath, United Kingdom
    Duration: 25 Jun 201126 Jun 2011


    ConferenceCentre for Death & Society Conference - ‘Death & Dying in the Digital Age’
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


    • digital inheritance
    • death
    • bequest
    • assets


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