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Our Eternal [digital] Afterlife

About the Talk

June 16, 2015 3:30 PM

Charleston, SC

Charleston, SC

“The first step to eternal life, is you have to die” — Chuck Palahniuk. Regardless of whether you’re on a quest for immortality, physical and digital death are complex affairs and require preparation. What happens to our digital selves when we die? What is a digital will and can we even decide what the fate of our online personae should be? Who should inherit our Google accounts? Should our Facebook pages be memorialized, and who should have access to our online banking credentials? What about those who, like me, wish to completely “go away” when they die and for their online presence to end when our lives do? What are the options? This talk won't give you answers — there aren’t many, and all of them entirely too personal — but is an invitation to reflect on the concepts of death in the digital age, privacy and a profoundly new idea of “property”. It is also, perhaps more importantly, a call to think about the products and services that we design in a different way, a way that allows people to choose a digital afterlife in line with their preferences.

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