Rest In Peace – Your Online Legacy Will Continue

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ll3Just when you thought you had seen it all, along comes Legacy Locker. This service securely stores all a user’s online login-in data in case they die or are disabled. The announcement today portrays Legacy Locker as user’s “digital legacy” repository. In reality though, the service simply stores logins and password data so that they can easily be accessed by a person’s heirs or co-workers.

Legacy Locker Co-Founder Jeremy Toeman describes the service as an “online safety deposit box.” Ironically, the service costs as much, and at around $30 per year or $300 for lifetime membership, it seems a little high on cost and low on value to me.

With so many services out there that already provide more advanced features and tools, one has to wonder at such a development. In the case of passwords and log-ins, logic should point to backup on a flash drive and a real safety deposit box as one of dozens of options. At the worst any resourceful Web person could devise similar utility on their own PC or somewhere on Google I would think.

Legacy Locker landing page

Legacy Locker landing page

Legacy Locker does have secure features, and a few useful – if macabre – tools. One such feature, “Legacy Letters”, allows users to send out letters after their demise. Other features are designed to appeal to estate lawyers and address a series of “death or disability” events. As for the audience, the service targets a very special niche of roughly 12.5 million Americans families with children under 18, that have filed wills.

A Better Legacy

Instead of offering to save people’s passwords for posterity, a startup aimed at a person’s legacy should look more like ThisMoment, which we wrote about earlier. By enabling people to “build” a picture of their legacy through various media, and securing it with 512 bit encryption (like LL claims), something extraordinary could be left behind. I guess the “point of pain” for this startup is that so few have dared to think about doing this.

Startup Epitaph

Viability for this startup is tied directly to longevity. Without some guarantee user data will always be available, along with securing more than identities and passwords, the service seems useless in my opinion. Another “the end” service out there is MyWonderfulLife, which allows people to plan their funerals. But, Legacy Locker offers no such organizational ability, and I don’t see millions storing their banking or business passwords there to be honest.

As for Legacy Locker, they sure got some major coverage from Silicon Valley today, especially given they announced they were not doing a big PR push? Given this “surprise” coverage since I started writing from the press release, there is no doubt Legacy Locker will be famous today, but convincing users to pay for it will be another matter.

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  • http://www.arrowquick.com runrobrun

    hmmmm….seems to me like a lock box and some paper would suffice. I’m not sure, but the legal validity of the documents that may be stored might be suspect. For some reason the courts in the USA still love paper documents.

    My wife knows where to look for my password anyways. (lift the keyboard and read the sticky note! HA HA HA)

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      LOL @ Runrobrun, my sentiments exactly. I tried to make it clear, but probably did not. Legacy does not actually store docs, only the passwords and account stuff for logging in. So, pay $30 and be allowed to type all your secure paswords….what do you think, let#s just do it. :) Thanks for the comment….my stickies are in the pencil holder.

      Always,
      Phil

  • http://www.healthconverts.com dreamache

    Is this new site an enemy of sitepoint or something? :P

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      LOL @ dreamache ! Of course not. I can’t be dripping with enthusiasm over everything that comes along now can I? It is just a good example of something that is now being hyped out of this world. I hope many can see the interesting reception this got.

      Always,
      PHil

  • digilante

    I really think there is a need for such a service (expanded of course, as you rightly mention in your article). I think that mature and responsible people would make use of such a service.

    First, most things are accessed online, and without those details those who survive you will have a heck of a difficult time making sense of your estate.

    Second, a box with a paper inside is not so useful in case your death was brought about by fire or flooding for example. It is also something that is not likely to be as up to date as an online service that makes it simple to make updates.

    Third, if there can be some sort of legally sound validation process of who the user is, then all the passwords, as well as copies of documents, including a will, can have legal status and possibly save family disputes in many cases.

    However, being a staunch supporter of personal privacy, I am unlikely to ever put such personal information in an online information store. With the almost total erosion of the right to privacy in the US and UK, the authorities can extract all this information from the company, at a whim. This means that your secret offshore account where you saved up some legally earnt money for the darkest of days is now public knowledge.

    Encryption may be useless too, as the authorities can beat it out of your spouse or lawyer.

  • memco

    bugmenot.com offers the same features for free.

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      Hi Guys, Thanks for the input, and it is good to know someone offers this service for free Memco. As for boxes of paper, there are other alternatives Digi. The problem for me, is the limited value of this service. If they offered to store actual docs, that would be another thing. I can store all my passwords in a Google doc and send the password to that to someone secure, or any number of other methods. I would like to see a service like ThisMoment or even FileRide help people do this but also to help them put meaningful media and text with their digital legacy – that would be something.

      Always,
      Phil

  • Kristen Nicole

    So important, given the issues that arise with family members that have to deal with social networks like Facebook, which have already deemed what to do with a user’s profile after they’ve deceased.

  • TDMV

    Sure, giving all my “keys” to someone i don’t know. If i would do that in the “real” world, my family would have me declared ‘insane’ within minutes.
    I keep a record of sites + passwords in a single file, and instructions where exactly in a legal document for my family. Easy, and virtually no risks involved.

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      And there ya go TD! Storing stuff online is not exactly the most ingenious way to continue a legacy any way. Chis makes a good point for this startup in that it may be right for some people, but “some” people paying 30 bucks is not going to take the startup far in my book. Thanks guys.

      Always,
      Phil

  • http://successcreeations.com/blog/ ChrisCree

    While this service isn’t as sexy as the others you mentioned I can see where it could be very valuable to some folks. In my case, were I to get hit by a beer truck tomorrow my very non-technical wife would be in a bad way without easy access to all my client’s web sites.

    Since I’m on a Mac I use 1Password, which goes for a one time fee of $40. An off site backup is a very good idea too.

  • GenesisDavies

    I don`t think I`d trust a website like this . . . hackers do exist! I keep all my passwords and vital information (PayPal, etc.) in a file in my home. My husband knows where to find it should something ever happen to me and he would be able to get into my emails, blogs and still get my payments.

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      Hi Genesis, I agree. What is the big deal in the end (no pun). My heirs are going to get 6700 gmails, 22,347 yahoo spam mails, passwords to 267 websites, $5 in my PayPal, all my good karma from EBay, and etc? Oh, I forgot about all the YouTube videos and those saved on 40 other video sites, 2 million links at various bookmarking sites, and 500 friends at Propeller that never talk any more. :)

      Always,
      Phil

  • http://www.vantagegaming.net/ ben332211

    TDMV: ‘Sure, giving all my “keys” to someone i don’t know. If i would do that in the “real” world, my family would have me declared ‘insane’ within minutes.’

    @TDMV: Well articulated, I was thinking the same, :)