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Apple to give iCloud access to the loved ones of deceased users

Matt Himsworth

Tech giant follows test case by our team to give effect to digital rights after life.

Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@karim_manjra?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Karim MANJRA</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/grief?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>

Apple has announced in its latest iOS update that it will make provision for the ability to bequeath access to digital assets in its account settings.

This piece of news is a genuinely emotional development for me. Having acted for Rachel Thompson, who lost her husband Matthew in the most sudden and tragic of circumstances, I know only too well how important this new update from Apple is.

As things currently stand, if your loved one dies and you do not know the login details for their iCloud account, then all the photographs, videos and other memories and information on their iCloud/iPhone will be inaccessible, unless - as we helped Rachel to - you go to Court. The solution seemed simple and now, at Apple’s WWDC 2021 announcement, the company has confirmed that users will soon be able to assign a Legacy Contact who will be able to request access to the account upon proof of death using a death certificate and proper verification.

This will remove huge cost and heartache and is a significant development in digital compassion. When the news broke I messaged Rachel. Her response to me was simple: “Wow! Amazing!” We campaigned on this issue, making numerous television appearances and Rachel told her story beautifully in a piece with the Daily Mail and now, finally, people in a similar position to her will not have to go through the same ordeal.

The full Apple announcement can be viewed here. The segment on Digital Legacy as at 54.10.

Now is the time for all tech providers who host our most personal information to follow suit and put similar provisions in place.