What Will Happen to My Vine Account When I Die?

What happens to your Vine account when you die depends on a few things, including:

  • Whether you’ve left a plan
  • Vine’s policies about the accounts of deceased people
  • Your state law

Have you Made a Plan?

The surest way to know what will happen to your Vine account is to make a plan and leave any necessary instructions to the people who will be wrapping up your estate.

Making a Plan to Provide Access

If you want someone to access to your Vine account after you die – say, post a final video, remove videos, or delete your account -- then leave instructions about 1) how to log in to the account and 2) what to do with it.

However, if you ask someone to access your account, keep in mind that sharing your password could be a violation of Vine’s Terms of Service agreement and therefore grounds for deleting your account. That said, practically speaking, giving a trusted person your username and password is probably well worth that risk – especially if you want your account deleted anyway.

Read on to learn about Vine’s policies on inactive accounts, deleting accounts, and deleting the data associated with an account.

Keeping Your Account Private

If you don’t want anyone accessing your Vine account after you die, you have a few options:

Delete the account before you die. This is not always practical because you may want to continue to use your account during your life, but it is an effective way to make sure your account won’t continue after you die. You can delete your Vine account from within the app.

To deactivate your Vine account from an iOS device:

  • Navigate to your profile
  • Tap Settings
  • Select Your content
  • Tap Deactivate account, located at the bottom of the screen

To deactivate your Vine account from an Android device:

  • Tap the person icon
  • Tap on your profile picture which will bring you to your settings
  • Scroll down to the bottom and tap Deactivate account

Vine will hide your profile and content “shortly after” deactivating your account. For 30 days, you can reactivate your account by logging in. After 30 days, your account will be “permanently deleted.” However – like most companies – Vine will probably keep data associated with your account even after your account is no longer visible to other users. Vine’s Privacy Policy states that it will keep this “log data” for up to 18 months. So deactivating your account will not delete the data associated with your account, it just hides your profile and videos.

Instruct someone you trust to delete the account after you die. You can leave login information and instructions for someone go into the account and deactivate it after your death. (You must be logged in to do this, so they will need your login info.) Or you can have your executor or family member notify Vine about your death, and request that it deactivate your account. Vine does not have an official way to do this, and there is no obvious way to contact the company…so this route may be challenging for your survivors. It will be much easier for them if you leave your login information so that they can get into your account to deactivate it as a user.

Depend on Vine’s inactive policy to delete the account. Vine does appear to have a policy of deleting inactive accounts. The Vine Rules include this statement: Accounts that are inactive for more than six months may also have their profile URLs removed or reclaimed without further notice. (Twitter has a similar policy.) So you could just do nothing and expect that at some point, Vine will delete your account.

Instructing Vine What to Do With Your Account When You Die

Vine does not currently allow you to decide what should happen to your account when you die, but it might someday. Tech companies are recognizing that users may want to control the fate of their accounts and profiles after death, and some are creating the tools for this. For example, Google’s Inactive Account Manager allows account holders to decide whether to delete the account or pass (some) account information on to survivors after a period of inactivity. Keep an eye out for Vine to provide a similar tool.

If You Don’t Make a Plan

If you don’t make a plan for your Vine account, your account will probably be deleted after 6 months of inactivity. If you do not want anyone to have access to your account, and if you expect that no one will try to access your account, this “do nothing” approach is a gamble, but it could work.

However, doing nothing will likely have an undesirable outcome if you want to either 1) give your survivors access to your account, or 2) really make sure that the account remains private. On one hand, unless you leave instructions, the person wrapping up your estate will have a very difficult time accessing your account – even to delete it. On the other hand, in some states, your executor may be able to get access even if that’s not what you want.

A growing number of states have laws granting executors authority to access digital accounts. In those states, "account custodians" like Vine could be required to provide access to executors. So an account that you believe to be private could be made available to the person wrapping up your estate. These are new and untested laws, and you can expect most technology companies to resist providing access to accounts, even in the states where the law requires it to do so.

You can learn more about this, including information about your state’s law on Nolo’s Digital Assets page.

The Bottom Line

If you do not make a plan, after your death your Vine account will probably continue to exist for 6 months and then Vine will delete it. Depending on your state, your executor may have a slim chance to gain authority over your account, but it will be a struggle.

If you want to control what happens to your account, either plan for it to be deleted, or tell your loved ones how to log into it and what to do with it when they get in.

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