eMemory was first conceived starting from several reflections on digital legacies, summarized here below.Digital legacy - the problem
In recent years we have witnessed an increase in legal disputes over the ownership and use of digital data belonging to deceased people. On our PCs, tablets and smartphones we now store almost everything, and often much more than what we wish to keep as a souvenir.
Whereas the purchase contract for our home or the results of our medical tests are well kept in our physical archives (for now, but it appears most likely that in a few years these will be digital too), our digital data are hoarded and left unorganized, in the vain hope that they will anyway prove "eternal" or that we can always "sort them out" at a later time. This is not true, and the problem is well known to anyone who has ever lost a mobile phone, broken their pc or been infected with a virus such as as Cryptolocker.
We hoard a lot of data but do not protect them as we would with something valuable, and we do not give clear instructions about the destiny we choose for them: in addition to losing many opportunities during our lifetime, we also cause unpleasant situations or serious problems when we die or when we are no longer able to take autonomous decisions.Digital legacy - the risks of accessibility
The first risk of this kind is due to the fact that nobody has our passwords. Therefore it will not be easy - and not even legal unless we state so in our will - for others to access the data we leave behind, assuming that our devices are still operable at the time we are no longer here.
The second risk is that we entrust the wrong people with our passwords, and / or that someone gains access to files they are not supposed to see.
The third risk concerns the actual ownership of data. Do we really own the ones we stored on our company laptop or shared on social networks? Of course not.Digital legacy - the risks of hoarding
The risk today is to preserve, and therefore to leave behind, an overgrown and unorganized mass of data. Which really amounts to preserving and leaving nothing behind. This is mainly due to the direction in which digital technology has been driven, i.e. to prioritize quantity (of users, bytes, files) over quality.
An excessive amount of data is an obstacle to their proper preservation and transformation into information and knowledge. If we keep considering thousands of "facts", there is no way we can write down a "chronicle" of what happens to us, or tell our "story". All the tiles of the vast mosaic making up our knowledge and allowing us to express our wisdom will remain unorganized and meaningless, wasting a greater amount of energy and environmental resources.
With eMemory we aim at giving a concrete answer to the growing demand for a secure way to preserve and enhance our digital data, for the construction of our own digital heritage, and for the management of our digital legacy. This answer is very similar to the one provided by banks and insurance companies for material wealth, and uses the same keywords - heritage, safe deposit box, enhancement
Among the most significant data we own, there are undoubtedly the photographs that portray our lives. Until 50 years ago, having a camera to take pictures with was a luxury, therefore we tended to limit its use to really important occasions. Today, we all can take thousands of photos even though we very rarely print them, leaving them stored in some old forgotten memory card or on a cloud service to which our dear ones / heirs will probably never gain access. The access cost to technology has dropped, but perhaps we chose to sacrifice on the altar of progress the individual value of memories.
Data should be archived with an attention to the context in which they were born, and properly tagged according to the intimate and personal meaning they have for us, including their emotional connections and their destiny as digital legacy. Thus organized, we believe these memories should become the seeds of a further growth that will enable their continued circulation on a higher level. This fruitful new circulation will allow both individuals and communities to build up their own memory, identity and awareness.
Compared with the current (lack of) attention given to more effective storage methods for personal and family data, our ecological use breaks away from the dominant consumerist approach, and opens the way for a sustainable use of digital data - our memories - and for their new circular and sustainable economy. This can be achieved because the ecological use of digital data constitutes a working environment specifically suited to enhance and capitalize memories - weaving together both individual and collective memories - where raw basic data can become useful bricks to build up identity and awareness, both on an individual and a collective level.
Together with others, eMemory has created the Sloweb association to tackle some important and still unsolved problems in web user experience:
Do you have any ideas for new ways to use and approach eMemory?
You are invited to “cook” them with us. Our kitchen is the place where we are preparing our future products. It has glass walls and opened doors.
Please come into the kitchen and work with us. Let us discuss together the next recipes we want to try. Our vision is to learn from our users. To unleash your creativity and build the platform together, to reach success together.
eMemory is a user-owned web platform. Are you developing any memory-keeping programs? Are you looking for someone to go on this journey with you? Are you looking for funds?
We at eMemory want to commit all our energies to the "preservation of memory". For this reason we intend to allocate an important portion of our profits to memory-keeping projects.
eMemory can fund existing projects, or create new projects based on user advice. You can become protagonists in the realization of these projects, creating communities based on a given territory or a specific activity. We can work in partnership with companies and associations, potential sponsors and project promoters, or facilitators for specific projects.
Can your work be useful to eMemory users? Do you have experience to spare?
The platform will offer to our users a range of additional services, e.g. the digitalization of physical documents, the selection of the most valuable ones, assistance in building digital biographies and archives.
DO YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE TO SPARE? CONNECT WITH US AND OTHER PROFESSIONALS / CRAFTSPEOPLE / WORKERS OF MEMORY-KEEPING LIKE YOU
Do you have other ideas? Write to us!
Are you interested in becoming a shareholder? Are you curious and want to learn more?
We have already started forms of user participation to several choices in the development of our eMemory platform and its services.
Here is why:
Yes. The procedure is easy. We are developing a mobile app compatible with the most common platforms to make this process as simple as it can be.
You can upload all your files to eMemory - repeating this procedure regularly - and keep them in a temporary folder up in the attic. However, we then suggest that you select, enhance and organize in specific folders only the files that are really important for you.
When a file is uploaded, a message will appear on the top right of the screen. Take your time doing things, and always read these messages. There is no hurry on eMemory.
Open the image file and click on "edit image". Do not forget to save when you are done. Always read the messages on the top right of the screen.
You cannot edit Word files directly on eMemory. However, you can download the files, edit them and upload them again: the old files will be updated.
There is no limit. We recommend not to use more than 30 folders: you do not want it to get too crowded in your house. Instead, we suggest using with care our many tag options.
Because only eMemory users can see, with the file itself, all the information on its context. If you just wish to share an image or a text, you can use your email. However, using your email you lose control over the ownership of the file. Moreover, if you like eMemory and the service it offers, you may wish to talk about us to your friends and family.
Of course. When you invite someone, you can send them a message and tell them everything.
Because the purpose of a social network is to put people in contact. This is possible with eMemory, but it is not our primary purpose.
Because the purpose of a file hosting service is to store large amounts of data that are usually left without context. With eMemory you can store large amounts of dat,a but it is not our primary purpose.
All file transfers from your device to our server are encrypted. The data centres we use can guarantee state-of-the-art security levels.
You can request us to send to a specified address a physical copy of your data on a data carrier. This service has a fee. Your data will be protected by a password chosen by you alone.
Our prices are comparable: they are slightly higher because we offer several other services and are committed to allocate a large part of our revenues to the funding of memory-keeping projects.
According to our vision, eMemory is user-owned. Should this become practically impossible, however, we may have to take a different course.
No. The same applies to other police forces. We are bound and we want to comply with national regulations that apply in different countries.
Should our company shut down, your files will no longer be accessible. We will make every effort to inform you in advance and invite you to get a physical copy of all the data uploaded to the platform.
The company that owns of the platform is is bound to comply with this condition. Please find this in our "Terms and conditions".
Yes. Several users have let us know that they wish to use eMemory to edit and store files for their work. Many products of the work of individuals are also part of their personal heritage. These should be developed and stored on our eMemory platform.
We follow a procedure described in our Data Management Agreement. You can find the Agreement at the bottom of each page on the platform. The procedure considers three possible situations:
In any case, death must be certified by a legally valid document.
This is also contained in our Data Management Agreement that can be found at the bottom of each page of the platform. You have chosen the destiny of every single file uploaded to the platform.
This is described in our Data Management Agreement, that can be found at the bottom of each page on the platform. You have chosen how you want your files to be delivered. Your heirs, namely the members of your lists, are notified of your death by eMemory. They will receive the files electronically. We are also considering the possibility to deliver files in physical form.
Do you have other question that can be useful to all users? write to us and we will add them in this section