SXSW 2011: You’re dead. Your data isn’t. What happens now?

Following our top-rated core conversation in 2010, Become Immortal: Understanding the Digital Afterlife, we’re ramping up for SXSW 2011. But to get there, we need your help. The first round of the panel selection process is underway and that means it’s time to vote for your favorite ideas in the Panel Picker.

You should give us a thumbs up. We’d really appreciate it. All you have to do is create an account and click the thumbs up icon on our page.

Here’s some more information about our idea and the awesome set of panelists we have lined up.


The Web has changed your life, your death and what you leave behind. Your heirlooms like photos, videos and letters are now stored in digital form and—in many cases—on servers that you don’t own like those of Flickr, YouTube and Gmail. What should happen to your “legacy” data? With over 285,000 Facebook users set to die this year, you really should think about it.

The Internet generation is coming of age and this issue is only growing. We have to respond with new legal frameworks and standards to support this change. The good news is that entrepreneurs, attorneys, archivists and scholars are already working on solutions. Join us to learn what happens to your digital life after you die and what’s being done to give you a say in it.

Key Questions

  1. How significant is a lifetime of data and how should it be preserved/archived/deleted after its creator is gone? Can we keep it forever?
  2. How is the law changing to support the legal transferability of digital assets? What can I do to secure them today?
  3. How is the business of death changing to support digital assets? What companies and solutions are emerging to deal with this?
  4. Today, online identity is designed for short term use, what types of information architectures and policy structures would support identity throughout and after our lives?
  5. If the social Web is redefining the way we interact with each other, what role will it play in the way we grieve together?
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