Thursday, November 5, 2009

Emails of the departed!

Is there a specific life span for the hundreds of thousands of emails generated and received by all of us in the web world?

This is a very interesting question looked from different angles.

Some emails may contain juicy details about the secret love life of romantic people without the knowledge of the spouses, children and friends.

Some emails may contain the last wishes such as nominees for properties, fortunes, etc., of people who are on the verge of death.

Some mails may contain last minute crucial directives & decisions of top brass of big business houses which changed the fate of the business.

The list may be long.

This also throws a question on the fate of the email accounts of persons after their death. What happens to the secrets and classified information contained in their emails?

Email service providers have their own policy decisions on this issue.

Gmail service providers Google let the next of kin of the diseased access his account. With 7 GB capacity approximately 70,000 mails (both Inbox and Sent mails) are archived by Gmail for its account user.

Hotmail has a policy to delete accounts of members who do not check their accounts for a period of 270 days or more.

Yahoo does not part with the account details of the departed. At best the next of kin may request for closure of the email account of the diseased. Alternatively if the diseased has left prior intimation to Yahoo specified relatives will gain access to his mail account.

Social Networking group Facebook has opened a new service called Memorialisation wherein the the Profile of the departed members will be maintained permanently as a small tribute.

Is it not wonderful to note that the apparently eternal web mail also has a limitation in its services in consistent with the limited life of human beings who create these letters!


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