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iCloud+ Digital Legacy streamlines procedures for data access after death

Apple ID account holders who subscribe to iCloud+ will be able to assign Legacy Contacts who can access their account information upon the account holder’s death.

Announced by Apple as part of the iOS 15 preview, the new Digital Legacy program allows designated users access to your iCloud account and personal information in the event of your death.

This is especially useful if the deceased had any photos or videos that their loved ones would like access to. It may also be more practical in nature, such as accessing emails related to a deceased person’s billing accounts.

To obtain a deceased person’s data, a person will have to have an approved legacy contact Apple ID which was set up before death, and a copy of the deceased’s death certificate.

Legacy contacts will be able to view emails, photos, notes, and more but cannot view or access payment information, subscriptions, licensed media, or Keychain information. They will be able to view the data from icloud.com or download it from privacy.apple.com. If they have access to an iPad or iPhone, they can restore the data from an iCloud backup, or access the data on a Mac.

There also appears to be a limited amount of time to access the data, as example images read, “You can access the data from [Deceased Person’s] account until [date.] After this date, [name’s] account and data will be permanently erased.”

Apple’s newly announced iCloud+ boasts plenty of other features, too, including a Private Relay feature that effectively acts as a VPN.

All users who currently pay for upgraded iCloud storage will have access to iCloud+ features, with storage plans starting as low as $0.99 per month for 50GB of additional storage.

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