What happens to your Facebook account when you die
Facebook seems to take this issue seriously and allows the executor of a will (the dead person’s family) to request the account shutdown or memorialised.
However Facebook retains the user information and you don’t get to see any private information of the dead person like messages or comments the user posted. Facebook is planning in US a feature that allows the users to select what happens to their account after their death.
All the account data information including photos, posts, shares, comments, likes and messages are kept on Facebook servers and not disclosed to anyone. Facebook will never delete this data!
What is a memorialised Facebook account
The memorialised Facebook account is getting a cleanup, so that the status updates and contact information is removed from the profile so that only confirmed friends or family cand see the profile or find it with Facebook search.
The memorialised Facebook profile wall remains so that the family and friends (of the profile) can leave posts in remembrance.
No one can log into a memorialised Facebook account profile.
What happens to your Twitter account when you die
Just like Facebook, Twitter has a policy that allows your executor or a family member to deactivate your account. But Twtitter won’t give them access to your account and Twitter retains all the information and data.
For privacy reasons of the deceased person Twitter does not allow access to the account even to family members.
What happens to your Google account when you die
The Google account may be the most important account to access after a family member dies, but unfortunately Google does the same way as Facebook, they retain all the data information and they won’t disclose it to anyone (of course excluding the Government’s Secret Service 😉 Also there is no simple way to deactivate the Google account of a dead person.
In some cases Google may give access only to Picasa photo album of the dead person to family members.
This policy is applied to all Google services (Picasa, Gmail, Drive, Youtube, etc.)
However Google offers an Inactive Account Manager service from which the user can setup to send an automated email in the event that their account is inactive for a certain time. The email can contain a link from which particular types of content (selected by the user) can be downloaded by a family member.
There are laws which contradicts this method of privacy used by Facebook, Google, Twitter and other social media sites, but probably the person who will sue any of these big companies to get the stored data will need to have a good lawyer and a lot of money.
All the accounts information stored on these servers can be accessed only by the Secret Service or Government agencies like NSA, FBI or CIA. It seems that their storage space on these servers are limitless.