The second beta of iOS 15.2 shows for the first time how Apple implements the ‘digital legacy’ feature. The function should make it possible for relatives to access the iCloud data of a deceased.
Relatives must enter a code and share a copy of a death certificate to access the data, according to screenshots published by 9to5Mac. This includes access to backups and photos, but not to passwords in iCloud Keychain. The setup is done via the settings. By default, iOS refers users to people with whom they have Family Sharing turned on. It is unclear whether contacts without an Apple ID can be designated as ‘digital heirs’.
Retrieving the data after death by a relative is done via a web interface from Apple. The interface works by default with an Apple ID, but there is an option to access without an Apple ID.
Apple is following other tech giants such as Google and Facebook, which had already built in options for relatives to gain access. The iPhone maker had already announced the feature at its WWDC developer conference in June, but it’s only now in beta. When iOS 15.2 comes out is unknown.
9to5Mac’s Walkthrough of the ‘Digital Legacy’ Feature