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Upon my death, delete: how to plan your digital legacy | Death and dying

Our favourite memories and important documents used to be kept as physical objects: photo albums, scrapbooks, postcards, contracts and certificates of ownership. That meant, when we died, these things would be relatively accessible to the loved ones we left behind.

In the internet era, a lot of that information is stored in the cloud. Everything from photos and videos to emails, documents and contracts, and even social media posts are not easily accessible without legacy planning.

Like me, many people also use social media for private journaling of family memories, in the hope those posts can still be seen in the future. Moreover, reminders from social media platforms about a deceased person can be painful and upsetting.

While it is a morbid thought, taking stock of your digital life and planning what will happen when you’re no longer there to log in is critical to ensuring that your information can be easily and responsibly taken care of.

This is an issue that online platforms are increasingly aware of, and many now allow you to issue instructions for what should happen in the event of your death.

Depending on the platform, both preservation and deletion of your account are possible, but it does require forethought, and each platform has a different process.

Apple’s legacy contacts

In December of 2021, Apple introduced legacy contacts, allowing you to choose one or more trusted people to access your account after your death. You generate and share an access key with your nominated contact.

After you die, your contact will need to request access, provide the key you shared, and upload your death certificate to access your Apple account.

Apple ID legacy contact process
Steps to add a legacy contact to your Apple ID. Photograph: Apple

Upon approval, your legacy contact will have three years to view photos, messages, notes, files, apps and other data, and make decisions about what should happen to the information.

Google’s inactive account manager

You can take proactive steps to safeguard the data in your Google account, whether that be photos, documents or even your Google Pay account. Google’s Inactive Account Manager allows you to make a plan for your death, by outlining when Google should consider your account to be inactive. You can set the inactivity waiting period to between three and 18 months. After the set time has elapsed, automated messages will be sent to nominated mobile numbers and email addresses, informing them of the inactivity. You can choose up to 10 people for Google to notify if your account becomes inactive.

You can also choose to share specific data such as Google Calendar, Chrome, Pay, and Photos with nominated people for three months after the account becomes inactive.

Finally, you can also tell Google to delete your inactive account and all of its content. Deletion takes place three months after the account becomes inactive.

Facebook legacy contacts and memorialised accounts

Facebook also allows you to add a legacy contact who can manage your account when you have died. A legacy contact can view private “only me” posts, pin a tribute post, change your profile and cover picture and request the deletion of your account. However, the legacy contact will only be able to perform these activities after the account is memorialised.

An example of a memorialised Facebook page
An example of a memorialised Facebook page. Photograph: Facebook

In a memorialised account, the word “remembering” is placed next to your name, and friends and family can share memories on the page’s memorialised timeline.

Facebook memorialises accounts when a family member or close friend lets them know of your death. Lastly, you also have the choice of having your account permanently deleted upon death. If you choose this option, when someone informs Facebook of your passing, the account will be permanently deleted.

Twitter

Unfortunately, Twitter does not appear to have a way to memorialise an account, nor the ability to provide a legacy contact’s details. It also does not provide account access to anyone regardless of their relationship to the deceased.

Nevertheless, an authorised person or family member of a deceased person can contact Twitter to have the account deactivated, upon providing further information about the deceased, a copy of their ID, and a copy of the deceased’s death certificate.

Instagram

Instagram, which Facebook owns, has memorialising and deletion features that are similar to Facebook. But it doesn’t offer the option of adding a legacy contact. Instead, anyone can make requests for an account to be memorialised by providing proof of death. Only verified immediate family members or lawful representatives of the deceased can request deletion of accounts.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn also does not currently provide a way to give a legacy contact’s details. It only offers the functionality to memorialise or close a deceased member’s account.

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Family members or authorised persons can only make requests to memorialise or close an account. However, other LinkedIn members can report a deceased person, and upon verification, the account is hidden from public view. Like Twitter, it also does not disclose usernames or passwords to anyone, including family members.

Microsoft

To date, Microsoft appears to have taken a very hands-off approach in dealing with the accounts of deceased users. It does not offer any way of nominating a next of kin to access the account, and the account is inevitably closed after two years of inactivity.

Leaving instructions

Last but not least, you can leave details of all your digital assets – accounts, usernames and passwords – with a trusted friend or family member who can help bring closure. This can be particularly useful for platforms where nominating a legacy contact isn’t possible.

Digital legacy planning may be difficult, but it will make life a little easier for those close to you. After all, you don’t want your online information to be lost or misused when you are gone.



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European Startup Ecosystems Awash With Gulf Investment – Here Are Some Of The Top Investors

European Startup Ecosystem Getting Flooded With Gulf Investments

The Voice Of EU | In recent years, European entrepreneurs seeking capital infusion have widened their horizons beyond the traditional American investors, increasingly turning their gaze towards the lucrative investment landscape of the Gulf region. With substantial capital reservoirs nestled within sovereign wealth funds and corporate venture capital entities, Gulf nations have emerged as compelling investors for European startups and scaleups.

According to comprehensive data from Dealroom, the influx of investment from Gulf countries into European startups soared to a staggering $3 billion in 2023, marking a remarkable 5x surge from the $627 million recorded in 2018.

This substantial injection of capital, accounting for approximately 5% of the total funding raised in the region, underscores the growing prominence of Gulf investors in European markets.

Particularly noteworthy is the significant support extended to growth-stage companies, with over two-thirds of Gulf investments in 2023 being directed towards funding rounds exceeding $100 million. This influx of capital provides a welcome boost to European companies grappling with the challenge of securing well-capitalized investors locally.

Delving deeper into the landscape, Sifted has identified the most active Gulf investors in European startups over the past two years.

Leading the pack is Aramco Ventures, headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Bolstered by a substantial commitment, Aramco Ventures boasts a $1.5 billion sustainability fund, alongside an additional $4 billion allocated to its venture capital arm, positioning it as a formidable player with a total investment capacity of $7 billion by 2027. With a notable presence in 17 funding rounds, Aramco Ventures has strategically invested in ventures such as Carbon Clean Solutions and ANYbotics, aligning with its focus on businesses that offer strategic value.

Following closely is Mubadala Capital, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with an impressive tally of 13 investments in European startups over the past two years. Backed by the sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company, Mubadala Capital’s diverse investment portfolio spans private equity, venture capital, and alternative solutions. Notable investments include Klarna, TIER, and Juni, reflecting its global investment strategy across various sectors.

Ventura Capital, based in Dubai, UAE, secured its position as a key player with nine investments in European startups. With a presence in Dubai, London, and Tokyo, Ventura Capital boasts an international network of limited partners and a sector-agnostic investment approach, contributing to its noteworthy investments in companies such as Coursera and Spotify.

Qatar Investment Authority, headquartered in Doha, Qatar, has made significant inroads into the European startup ecosystem with six notable investments. As the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, QIA’s diversified portfolio spans private and public equity, infrastructure, and real estate, with strategic investments in tech startups across healthcare, consumer, and industrial sectors.

MetaVision Dubai, a newcomer to the scene, has swiftly garnered attention with six investments in European startups. Focusing on seed to Series A startups in the metaverse and Web3 space, MetaVision raised an undisclosed fund in 2022, affirming its commitment to emerging technologies and innovative ventures.

Investcorp, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, has solidified its presence with six investments in European startups. With a focus on mid-sized B2B businesses, Investcorp’s diverse investment strategies encompass private equity, real estate, infrastructure, and credit management, contributing to its notable investments in companies such as Terra Quantum and TruKKer.

Chimera Capital, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, rounds off the list with four strategic investments in European startups. As part of a prominent business conglomerate, Chimera Capital leverages its global reach and sector-agnostic approach to drive investments in ventures such as CMR Surgical and Neat Burger.

In conclusion, the burgeoning influx of capital from Gulf investors into European startups underscores the region’s growing appeal as a vibrant hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. With key players such as Aramco Ventures, Mubadala Capital, and Ventura Capital leading the charge, European startups are poised to benefit from the strategic investments and partnerships forged with Gulf investors, propelling them towards sustained growth and success in the global market landscape.


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China Reveals Lunar Mission: Sending ‘Taikonauts’ To The Moon From 2030 Onwards

China Reveals Lunar Mission

The Voice Of EU | In a bold stride towards lunar exploration, the Chinese Space Agency has unveiled its ambitious plans for a moon landing set to unfold in the 2030s. While exact timelines remain uncertain, this endeavor signals a potential resurgence of the historic space race reminiscent of the 1960s rivalry between the United States and the USSR.

China’s recent strides in lunar exploration include the deployment of three devices on the moon’s surface, coupled with the successful launch of the Queqiao-2 satellite. This satellite serves as a crucial communication link, bolstering connectivity between Earth and forthcoming missions to the moon’s far side and south pole.

Unlike the secretive approach of the Soviet Union in the past, China’s strategy leans towards transparency, albeit with a hint of mystery surrounding the finer details. Recent revelations showcase the naming and models of lunar spacecraft, steeped in cultural significance. The Mengzhou, translating to “dream ship,” will ferry three astronauts to and from the moon, while the Lanyue, meaning “embrace the moon,” will descend to the lunar surface.

Drawing inspiration from both Russian and American precedents, China’s lunar endeavor presents a novel approach. Unlike its predecessors, China will employ separate launches for the manned module and lunar lander due to the absence of colossal space shuttles. This modular approach bears semblance to SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, reflecting a contemporary adaptation of past achievements.

Upon reaching lunar orbit, astronauts, known as “taikonauts” in Chinese, will rendezvous with the lunar lander, reminiscent of the Apollo program’s maneuvers. However, distinct engineering choices mark China’s departure from traditional lunar landing methods.

The Chinese lunar lander, while reminiscent of the Apollo Lunar Module, introduces novel features such as a single set of engines and potential reusability and advance technology. Unlike past missions where lunar modules were discarded, China’s design hints at the possibility of refueling and reuse, opening avenues for sustained lunar exploration.

China Reveals Lunar Mission: Sending 'Taikonauts' To The Moon From 2030 Onwards
A re-creation of the two Chinese spacecraft that will put ‘taikonauts’ on the moon.CSM

Despite these advancements, experts have flagged potential weaknesses, particularly regarding engine protection during landing. Nevertheless, China’s lunar aspirations remain steadfast, with plans for extensive testing and site selection underway.

Beyond planting flags and collecting rocks, China envisions establishing a permanent lunar base, the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS), ushering in a new era of international collaboration in space exploration.

While the Artemis agreements spearheaded by NASA have garnered global support, China’s lunar ambitions stand as a formidable contender in shaping the future of space exploration. In conclusion, China’s unveiling of its lunar ambitions not only marks a significant milestone in space exploration but also sets the stage for a new chapter in the ongoing saga of humanity’s quest for the cosmos. As nations vie for supremacy in space, collaboration and innovation emerge as the cornerstones of future lunar endeavors.


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Aviation and Telecom Industries Reach Compromise on 5G Deployment

The Voice Of EU | In a significant development, AT&T and Verizon, the two largest mobile network operators in the United States, have agreed to delay the deployment of 5G services following requests from the aviation industry and the Biden administration. This decision marks a crucial compromise in the long-standing dispute between the two industries, which had raised concerns over the potential interference of 5G with flight signals.
The aviation industry, led by United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby, had been vocal about the risks of 5G deployment, citing concerns over the safety of flight operations. Kirby had urged AT&T and Verizon to delay their plans, warning that proceeding with the deployment would be a “catastrophic failure of government.” The US Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the issue further highlighted the need for a solution.
In response, US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) head Steve Dickson sent a letter to the mobile networks, requesting a two-week delay to reassess the potential risks. Initially, AT&T and Verizon were hesitant, citing the aviation industry’s two-year preparation window. However, they eventually agreed to the short delay, pushing the deployment to January 19.
The crux of the issue lies in the potential interference between 5G signals and flight equipment, particularly radar altimeters. The C-Band spectrum used by 5G networks is close to the frequencies employed by these critical safety devices. The FAA requires accurate and reliable radar altimeters to ensure safe flight operations.

Airlines in the US have been at loggerheads with mobile networks over the deployment of 5G and its potential impact on flight safety.

Despite the concerns, both the FAA and the telecoms industry agree that 5G mobile networks and airline travel can coexist safely. In fact, they already do in nearly 40 countries where US airlines operate regularly. The key lies in reducing power levels around airports and fostering cross-industry collaboration prior to deployment.
The FAA has been working to find a solution in the United States, and the additional two-week delay will allow for further assessment and preparation. AT&T and Verizon have also agreed to not operate 5G base stations along runways for six months, similar to restrictions imposed in France.
President Joe Biden hailed the decision to delay as “a significant step in the right direction.” The European Union Aviation Safety Agency and South Korea have also reported no unsafe interference with radio waves since the deployment of 5G in their regions.
As the aviation and telecom industries continue to work together, it is clear that safe coexistence is possible. The delay in 5G deployment is a crucial step towards finding a solution that prioritizes both safety and innovation. With ongoing collaboration and technical assessments, the United States can join the growing list of countries where 5G and airlines coexist without issue.

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