Feature request: "Dead man's switch" vaults (time-release vaults)

I know the topic of granting access to passwords after we're gone has come up before, but in my searching I didn't see this approach described so I thought I'd post it here.

What I'm proposing are vaults on Family/Team accounts that would be made accessible to defined members after no access has been recorded by the vault owner for a defined number of days.

So I create a vault, it gets a tag (like the Safe for Travel tag), and I define a maximum number of days that my account is idle before access is granted to the other members I choose. There should also be a system for email warnings starting at (3?) days out to notify me that my vault will be made available if I do not auth and open my account.

Most of the mechanics appear to already be in place in the subscription system:

1) The server clearly keeps track of each web browser, desktop, and mobile client and when they last successfully authenticated
2) Other account members can already be dynamically added/removed from vaults
3) You can already email me about things like subscription information

By making this its own vault, I can be very specific about the information that gets shared posthumously. If I want to grant people access to my full private vault, I can put password details here. If I only want to share financial records, I can restrict it to that. Also, by making this a little more generic than what your competitors are doing, you can do things like staged release vaults:

14 days - certain documents / financial (daily banking?) / home automation password information is released
30 days - another vault with retirement accounts, wills, other more serious documents
90 days - email passwords, disk encryption passwords, my 1password master password, etc.

This gives control to strike a balance on information released for the "I'm in the hospital incapacitated" scenario versus the "I'm probably dead" scenario.

Also, since these would be user configurable, you can easily adjust the idle days if known access limitations are upcoming (ie, travel without Internet access).

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  • brentybrenty

    Team Member

    @SpaethCo: It's definitely an interesting idea, but with some real problems. For one, why couldn't someone (evil twin? crazed spouse?) just hold you captive until they get access to what they want. It's sort of like when people hide deceased elderly to continue collecting pension checks and social security. Grim, but it really happens. I really like the idea of having different information have different access criteria. Perhaps we'll be able to do something in this area in the future, but it will need to be considered carefully from a number of angles. In the mean time, you may find it useful to create an additional "family member" or "guest" account with access to specific data that would be needed in the case of your demise, and put the Emergency Kit for it in the bank and/or give it to your attorney. I know that a number of people do something like that. Cheers! :)

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