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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

With iOS 15, Apple is introducing a new Digital Legacy program that designates people as Legacy Contacts to let them access your Apple ID account and personal information in the event of your death.


This feature does not appear to be live at the current time, but based on Apple's description, it will give your friends or family members access to your photos and other important data after your death. This is an important new addition to iOS because right now, if someone passes away with a locked iPhone, iPad, or Mac, it's difficult if not impossible to get access to the device, even with access to a death certificate.

Digital Legacy will let your loved ones manage your data to get access to key accounts and personal items like photos that would otherwise be lost.

Management of digital data after death is something that Apple has been lacking, and with so much data online, it's become an increasingly important topic. Social networks like Twitter and Facebook have tools for setting legacy contacts that can archive an account, and Google maintains an Inactive Account Manager that releases control of an account to a designated person after a set period of time.

Alongside the Digital Legacy program, Apple is also letting users set Account Recovery Contacts. People set as an Account Recovery Contact will be able to help you regain access to your Apple ID should you forget your password.

Both of these features will be available when iOS 15 launches this fall.

Article Link: iOS 15 Lets Your Family Access Your Data If You Die


macrumors regular
Mar 13, 2015
It will be interesting to see what information Apple requires in order to determine that an Apple ID owner has actually died. I can see situations where like beneficiary designations, someone adds their wife and kids to an Apple ID, but then has a divorce or a falling out and forgets to remove them. Then a vengeful family member attempts to "hack" their account by falsely claiming the owner has died and wants access! Hopefully Apple will have a clear method of verification, like notifying the original Apple ID owner with a "We think you died. Deny access if you're still alive!" message.
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