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Apple’s New Feature Will Allow Users to Pass on iCloud Data After Death

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iCloud digital legacy program

Apple is initiating and launching a new digital legacy program. In the program, the users can select up to five people who can easily access the iCloud data after their death.

The Legacy program is allowing iPhone users to add one or more contacts of their preference. The selected can gain access to and download specific data in iCloud after their death.The Digital Legacy program is appearing in the latest iOS 15.2 updates where you can choose up to five people as your ‘Legacy Contacts’ on devices like Mac, iPhones, and iPads.

Apple is solving a complex problem with its latest iOS update: the right of survivorship. Till now, when a family member or loved one dies, there was no easy or effortless way to access their iCloud account. Also, there was no way of unlocking and accessing their phones without knowing their passcode. According to the terms and conditions of service of iCloud, the demised person’s data goes away with them even with a death certificate.


The program was first introduced and announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference event which was earlier this year. Which is now accessible with the latest iOS 15.2 beta update. If your legacy contacts provide proof of demise to Apple and have the necessarily required key, they will easily obtain access to that certain account data. Also, the activation lock will be permanently removed from all the devices as claimed by Apple’s iCloud terms webpage. The company says that it is therefore the user’s duty to keep their Digital Legacy contacts up to date.


The individuals selected as legacy contacts can then retrieve and access your data. They can also access personal information stored in iCloud when you die, such as videos, photos, documents, and even your purchases.

To activate your Digital Legacy in your device, Apple still requires proof of demise and an access key. Unlike the past where you could be required in a court order certifying a right to inheritance. And even then, there was no assurance that you would get access to the data.
This has been a complex situation for Apple, which has long hyped its core principles of keeping safe their users’ privacy. Grieving parents and spouses beseeching against the company for not letting them access their spouses or children’s photos weren’t very good. And neither was doling out people’s data willy-nilly.
Other platforms like Google and Facebook have systems in place for designating account access to other people. It is wonderful to see Apple catching up in this aspect.

How to set up your legacy contacts iCloud?

You can set up your Legacy Contacts in Settings on an iPad, iPhone, or Mac book.
It is important to note that you are running iOS 15.2 to access the feature.

On an iOS device go to Settings option > (your name) > Password and Security.
On a Mac device, go to System Preferences > Apple ID > Password and Security.
Under your Legacy Contact, follow the instructions to add a Legacy Contact.

If you use Family Sharing, you can also choose a family member from the list. You can also add someone using their phone number or email id.

iCloud digital legacy program

Inform your Legacy Contact and share and access key. If they accept the invite , a copy of the access key is saved their Apple ID settings. If they however decline, you will be sent a notification. The access key is very important and is required to get into your account incase of your death.
If however, you add a Legacy Contact who isn’t using iOS 15.2, they won’t be able to save the access key in the settings of their device. So you should send and provide it to them in an alternate way.
Legacy Contact is part of the Digital Legacy program and is now accessible in the public beta version of iOS 15.2 for your iPhone. It will be widely accessible when iOS 15.2 completely launches. Till now Apple has not confirmed which version of macOS will support the feature of legacy contacts.


Hey, I am Sanjana. I love spending time reading and writing. Hope hope you liked the article.😃

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