iOS 15.2 introduces Apple’s new Digital Legacy feature
Apple has released iOS 15.2 and iPadOS 15.2 for iPhone and iPad, bringing several new features including Communication Safety in Messages, a new Macro photo control for the iPhone 13 Pro, App Privacy Reports in Settings, the new Apple Music Voice Plan, a subscription tier that provides access to music using Siri, and more.
With today’s release, Apple is launching a new Digital Legacy feature that lets users set a trusted person who can access their iCloud data in the event of death, giving access to precious photos, videos, notes and documents.
Until now, when a loved one or family member passed away, there was no simple way to access their iCloud account or unlock their device without a passcode, however, with iOS 15.2’s new Digital Legacy feature, Apple is looking to make the process simpler for those wishing to gain access to their departed’s iCloud data, with the option to add up to five trusted Legacy Contacts who can request access from Apple in the unfortunate event their loved one passes away.
Legacy Contacts will be required to submit a copy of a death certificate to request access to a loved one or family member’s device which will be approved by Apple. Upon approving access to the Legacy data Apple will keep payment information, subscriptions, licensed media, and data stored in Keychain private however, this could always be easily accessed if required through password resets and access to other devices.
Apple notes that Legacy data will be available for a limited time only after requesting access to an account and that Legacy Contacts will be given an expiration date before their loved one or family member’s iCloud account is deleted.
How to set up Apple’s new Digital Legacy feature
- Ensure your device is running iOS 15.2 or later
- Open the Settings app, tap your name at the top of the screen and select Password & Security
- Tap the Legacy Contact button and follow the instructions to add a Legacy Contact. If you use Family Sharing, you can choose a family member from the list
Legacy Contacts will receive a secure iCloud access key that will be saved automatically to their Apple ID. This access key will be required for access to the departed’s account.