Clear rules needed for managing digital afterlife

Just this week, the US state of Delaware passed a landmark law giving heirs the rights to the digital legacy of the deceased. In India, too, the issue is finding resonance because the country is home to a large internet user base — about 250 million — that is creating and sharing digital content on a scale never seen before. Facebook will soon have more users in India than anywhere else, Twitter is looking at the country as its next (and potentially the biggest) frontier, and internetenabled business models powering everything from taxi rides (Uber, Ola) to booking a table at a restaurant, are all creating a perfect digital storm.

So what happens to the digital remains that hundreds of millions of users India will leave behind? Like in most parts of the world, users and companies are still dealing with a nebulous regulatory framework and digital ignorance when it comes to plan the afterlife.

Planned Departure, a startup that began life in the LBS Incubator Programme to help users manage their digital remains, is seeing increased activity on the ground. The biggest challenge is that many users tend to think of traditional legal heirs while planning digital afterlife. "Our digital assets are so complex that transferring it to legal heirs is not a right way to solve it," said Komal Joshi EMBA2014, cofounder of Planned Departure.

To read the full article in The Economic Times, click here

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