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Ashutosh Agrawal

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We should have digital cremation of an individual when they die which will erase their digital footprint.

I think today we have more contacts in digital world( friends in facebook, followers in twitter, emails, etc.) than in physical world. So I it is absolutely necessary to have a digital cremation for the information of digital contacts and clear digital space. Without digital cremation it would be like a world where corpses would be lying all over the place. Currently space is not at premium in digital world but surely user names are; without digital cremation it simply gets unavailable to other users for very long time (if not perpetually). it is currently very difficult to get a decent username/ e-mail I'd imagine the situation 10 years from now. So it is of paramount importance to remove "deceased users" from the system. I don't like the idea people 10year down the line having an email-id as afjdjdxjgjgxjjx@gmail.com.

Before coming to the operationalization of digital cremation let's understand cremation of physical world. It is by society norms which is totally acceptable unless stated otherwise. Persons immediate family is responsible for performing his/her adieu ceremony, this is designated by the norms of the society.

By the same analogy there should be a designated person to perform digital adieu. As digital world is based on autonomy it would be choice of individual to designate his/ her "digital cremator"(dc). All online registration should necessarily carry a field where you fill in details of at least 2 dc. And only upon receiving confirmation from 2 dcs it would become applicable and they would be registered in a separate website/ program let's call it as 'terminator'. It goes without saying that individual will have choice to change dc at any given point of time.

DCs simply have to activate the terminator that will crawl web to clear desired user data. To have some checks and balances there can be a "cooling off" period where a message will be sent to e-mail id of user where he/she can terminate the terminator in case of a false alarm.

Topics: digital age

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    Jan 4 2014: /
    Hi Ashutosh
    Being "secure in papers and personal effects" is arguably an old concept, but it has faded rapidly as GPS tracking and recording devices became ubiquitous. I really have no wish to be traced or have my life online be purely up for grabs.
    It seems this digital cremation would afford some chance at regaining privacy.
    I would wish to do that now and regain something like privacy as it used to be perceived.

    • Jan 16 2014: If you're dead, "privacy" is irrelevant. Why not demand that all books be burnt as soon as the author dies?

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