Apple Will Allow Users To Pass On Their Data To Loved Ones After Their Death: How It Works


The screen that appears on an iPhone while setting up a legacy contact. (Image Credit: Screengrab/ YouTube – Apple)

To activate Digital Legacy, Apple still requires proof of death and an access key.

  • Last Updated:November 13, 2021, 15:53 IST

Ever wondered what happens to your data when you die? We recently told you what happens to your Google data in the unfortunate case of your death. Now, Apple has thought of this and is bringing a Digital Legacy feature with its latest iOS update. Until now, there was no easy way of accessing iCloud data of a loved one who passed away, and there was no way of unlocking their phone without their passcode. Now, with the upcoming Digital Legacy Program in iOS 15.2, you can designate up to five people as Legacy Contacts. These are people who can access your data and personal information stored in iCloud when you die – things like photos, documents, and even purchases.

To activate Digital Legacy, Apple still requires proof of death and an access key. Now, Apple has not had a provision for taking out a deceased acquaintance’s data due to the company’s core principles of protecting users’ privacy. However, people rallying against the company for not giving them the access to their loved one’s data, even after their death is something everyone wants to avoid. Let us take a look at how to set up a Legacy Contact.

  • On an iOS device, go to Settings > [user’s name] > Password and Security
  • On a Mac, users need to open System Preferences > Apple ID > Password and Security
  • Under Legacy Contact, follow the instructions in order to add a Legacy Contact. If ou use Family Sharing, you can choose a family member from your list. Alternatively, you can add someone using their email or phone number.
  • Notify your Legacy Contact and share an access key via Messages. If they accept, a cope of the access key is automatically stored in their Apple ID settings. If they decline, you will receive a notification. The access key is required to get into your account if you pass away.

While you can add a contact who isn’t on iOS 15.2, they won’t be able to store the access key in the Settings on their device. Hecne, it is advised to provide them the key personally as well.

Now, Google and Facebook have measures in place for accessing data for users who have passed away. Legacy Contact is a part of the Digital Legacy program and is available for iOS 15.2 beta testers currently. The feature will be rolled out with iOS 15.2 for all users. It is not known as to when the feature will arrive on macOS.

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