Saturday, July 26, 2014

Viewpoints Industry Asks: What Happens to Your Online Persona When You Pass On?

Viewpoints Industry realizes that after the passing of a loved one, there is much work to be done to finalize the deceased one's affairs and deal with any residual bank accounts, charge cards and other financial matters.  But what of other kinds of accounts, such as social media?  What happens to somebody's Facebook or other account after the subject of that account is no longer with us?  What of photos, blogs and comments that might be somewhat embarrassing?  The laws concerning these matters are not consistent from state to state.  This is typical of new media, as the lawmakers are only just encountering their first cases of this kind of dilemma, so they are striving to play catchup. 

Viewpoints Industry finds that the laws concerning online social media are not clear after death.

The Viewpoints Industry TV show cautions that this area of law is a tricky minefield.  There is an effort underway to cobble together a set of uniform laws that can stand in all states and that overrule some service providers' self-made "Terms of Service" rules.  Some of these terms and conditions are worded in such a way that it appears that any individual's content becomes property of the service provider, or at least that the provider has the right to use any content in perpetuity.  This has never sat well with many people, and when coming up against something like a Last Will and Testament, it will be interesting to see if they hold up.  

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