All the Ghosts in the Machine: The Digital Afterlife of Your Personal Data by Elaine Kasket

“I read this book with the sinking realisation that my favourite response to a problem – “worry about it later” – is not really an option…” Jake Kerridge, Sunday Telegraph

All the Ghosts in the Machine

The Digital Afterlife of Your Personal Data

By Elaine Kasket

Published 23rd January 2020 by Little, Brown

Paperback £9.99 • ISBN 978-1472141903

Who do our digital lives really belong to? What happens to our online data when we die? Who has control over it, who should have access to it, and what could it be used for? With so much of our lives lived online, how do we protect our legacy for when today’s digital platforms become obsolete?

All the Ghosts in the Machine is a thought-provoking look at online data, posing profound questions about our digital lives – and deaths. Using the lens of what happens to your data you die, Dr Elaine Kasket exposes where the power truly lies when it comes to digital data. We may think that we have ownership of our online lives, deaths and memories – and tech companies encourage this assumption. But our rights in this area are not enshrined in law; and the right to privacy of a dead user is weighed up against the needs of the bereaved by a small group of Silicon Valley tech workers. Will the corporations that pull your strings when you’re alive end up determining how you’re remembered forever? Does the existence of the Internet bring us closer to immortality, or take it away?

As Dr Kasket reveals, there’s no better illustration of the control and power that big tech companies have over your information, and your identity, than looking at what happens to your data when you die. Once you understand the digital afterlife of your personal data, you’ll change your mind about how you want to live – both online and off.


Dr Elaine Kasket is an HCPC-Registered Counselling Psychologist and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. She is a writer, keynote speaker, and public intellectual and a visiting lecturer at multiple universities. Speaking about life, death, privacy rights and the power of big tech, Elaine has appeared in various media, including Psychology Today, Daily Telegraph, The Observer, the Times Literary Supplement, BBC television, ITN Channel 4, the Today Programme, Woman’s Hour, BBC Radio 4’s Digital Humans, Der Spiegel, The New Scotsman, Visão, O Globo and the Irish Times. She lives in East London with her husband, daughter and a revolving cast of troublesome chickens. For more information, please visit

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