Google Cloud

Inactive accounts can now have data shared with a person of your choosing, then deleted if you set things up beforehand

The digital age is relatively new. It was only recently that folks started depending so heavily on electronic communications and services, which in turn saves -- at least in part -- your life in the cloud. Photographs of friends and loved ones, email correspondences, and school and work documents are all part of many people's digital footprints today. Google now has incorporated what they call the 'Inactive Account Manager' into Google services.

After a user-defined timeout period that starts from your last sign-in, your Google account will be classified as inactive. Before the end of the timeout period is reached, Google will send you a text or email notification. If Google receives no response from you, contacts of your choosing can be notified after the timeout period that you are no longer using your account. There's even an option to share data with those contacts at this time. Any of the following can be shared: +1s, Blogger, Contacts and Circles, Drive, Gmail, Google+ Profiles, Pages and Streams, Picasa Web Albums, Google Voice and YouTube. A warning text and email will be sent before any data sharing occurs. The final step is account deletion after 3-12 months, which is completely optional. Google will erase your account and its contents if you so desire.

The Inactive Account Manager setup page can be found here. It's nice to see Google giving its users a tool to help plan for the unexpected. Whether you choose to simply delete your account or to share photos and documents with loved ones, this new tool has the potential to give a little extra peace of mind.

Setup Page; Source: Google Public Policy Blog