Apple has finally figured out how to solve the problem of relatives not having access to their deceased family members' iCloud account data. Soon, up to five people will be able to inherit the right to access the data of their relatives who passed away, The Verge reports.
The program called Digital Legacy allows you to add up to five Legacy Contacts. The Legacy Contact section will appear in the Apple ID settings, which will enable you to add up to five people that will be able to access your iCloud account after you die. They will receive the access key they need to access the inherited account.
The feature was first unveiled at WWDC earlier this year. To activate Digital Legacy, heirs will need a person's death certificate and an access key, but the significantly simplifies the process of obtaining data.
In the past, you had to get a court order confirming your right of inheritance to log in to the iCloud account of the deceased. However, even then, there was no guarantee that you would be given permission to do so. There was also no way to unlock their iPhone after a person died without knowing the passcode. The iCloud user agreement states that the personal data of the deceased is considered confidential and is not subject to disclosure.
The Verge notes that this has become a problem for Apple as the company has been heavily criticized by the people who could not gain access to their deceased relatives' photos and other information. There was simply no easy way to access the data stored in iCloud and on their devices.
For now, Digital Legacy is available in the public beta version of iPhone's iOS 15.2, but it will become available for more users once this update is fully launched. Apple has not specified which macOS version will support this feature.