The password problem

NoTrueBill has a post about Yahoo's choice to stand by its privacy policy and deny the family of a soldier killed in Iraq access to the deceased's email account.

The issue raises another problem, which is an extension of something that has been brought up on Slashdot before. What do you do to make sure that people can continue to access your data once you're no longer here? In some cases it's even more dificult, what happens to the servers when the person who knew the password is no longer here. Boone's post raises the suggestion that you might want people reading your email, but what about the server where your blog lives?

One possible solution is to keep an envelope sealed with common passwords in a safe place such as a safety deposit box. Of course this is only as good as the other people who may have access to the box and only if they will continue to have access. And of course it depends upon trusting those with access. It may be possible to keep them at a trusted attorney or similar location.



Hi Josh, I thought about t

Hi Josh,

I thought about this a bit before, and figured there's a fair bit of password-protected information I'd want others to be able to access once I'm gone.

I think the best idea is to leave the passwords in a document with your attorney to be delivered as part of your will when you die. Everyone is always saying it's never too early to write a will, so I figure this would be the best place to include it. Your attorney is under a legal obligation not to disclose the information except with your consent or a subpoena, so your passwords will be safe.


The attorney document idea is

The attorney document idea is a pretty good one. There is also an area of instructing what needs to be done. There may be some documents and things that one doesn't want passed along so how to best handle the system administration aspects of data management once one has passed on?