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Law & Legal Solutions for Protecting Deceased Privacy

University: Lancaster University Management School

  • Unit No: N/A
  • Level: Undergraduate/College
  • Pages: 6 / Words 1413
  • Paper Type: Assignment
  • Course Code: LAW317
  • Downloads: 35
Organization Selected : Imperial Hotel

Security and Privacy of the Dead

As online act turn into a important part of every day life, much more of the data and information gathered online can be very personal. Other than this, very few young adults have a will ordering what must be done with all the personal data, digital assets and information gathered online during their life. In the absence of legal purpose, a deceased individual’s late right to privacy is less under current law (Faklaris, 2016). Due to the fact that property law and contract law ineffectively protect a deceased individual’s online privacy rights, extending the invasion of privacy tort lately is the most effective and best method to protect an individual’s privacy rights after death. Utilizing common law would be most effective because a legislative approach would take too long (Kitzinger,2015). Also, common law and state legislatures already acknowledge dignitary interests.148 Since dignity and privacy are closely intertwined and digital assets tend to elicit much more personal information than a dead body, extending the wrongful conduct lately is essential to protect these rights. As more and more people are using social media such as Facebook to share personal data or information, privacy issues become critical to the discussion regarding the control over users accounts after the death of the owner of that particular account. Although internet service providers such as Facebook have developed policies governing the terms and conditions of a user's account, these policies generally do not protect a deceased person's right to privacy entirely (Korenhof and et.al., 2015). There two main approaches offered as a means of protecting a deceased individual's online privacy. The first is included in contract law, while the second is rooted within the property law. The contract theory depends upon analysing terms of service agreements that users are accepting for determining the scope of their posthumous privacy rights, while the property theory identify whether a deceased user's digital assets may be treated same as real property after death of the owner. These measures although do no protect a deceased individual's right to privacy properly. Pictures of dead people, victims of crimes and other incidents (Stewart and Bunton, 2016). At the moment, kind of protection varies from country to country and in most of the legal system's succession laws families have a default access to a deceased individual's data and memories. Service provides already grant this too. For example- this means that families can ask Facebook to delete the account of an individual or for access to some of the content excluding private chats. The family members can also request to turn the profile into a memorial. But on the other hand users may not want their families to have these rights or powers and rather they might want control over the very private and sensitive personal data found on some social media profiles and the digital identity that is associated to it. The legal recognition of post mortem privacy would help users to make decision related to the data or information after their death (Phillips and Milner, 2018).They can requires partial or full deletion or transfer of some of their information to family or friends or any other alternative. This idea has so far gained a little attention in law mainly in common law systems for example England, where legal decisions partially depends on previous judgements. Common law system have earlier been much less inclined for protecting privacy and personality rights than civil law systems. This is specifically true for the post mortem protection of an individual's personality (Stokes, 2015). The United Kingdom law expressly excludes this protection. But there have been exciting changes recently in France and US.

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Legal models

The model law adopted by various states in the United states recommends that the user must have rights for choosing what happens to their information or data and assets after their death. If individuals presents this wish using technology such as with something like Google's inactive account manager tool,then that must be over ride even provisions of their wish or will. A same solution or option has adopted in France recently in the digital republic act 2016. Addition to this, the legacy contract is not a senseless feature as Facebook has tight control on the account after the death of deceased partner. Now people stay connected through online websites and develops online asserts which are also a very essential for them, therefore, in order to protect the abuse of there online asserts, digital legacy is very helpful and useful for them. This means that in Europe for the first time the law could accept the utilization of software tools for the post mortem transfer of digital assets for example Facebook Legacy contact or Google inactive account mangers similar to American legislation discussed above. These tools within the services where individuals store their information or data allow users to select whether they need their accounts to be deleted entirely after their death or to leave some of their information to selected beneficiaries such as family or friends. However, these tools have been available for a few years with relatively little uptake with the fact that they have been adopted by some of the biggest service provides in the world. They recommends that post mortem privacy is not seen as creepy, obscure or impossible anymore. There are already few legal and practical methods to enforce and adopt it. But to clarify it further in a legal manner and ensure maximum individuals have access to this type of service, post mortem privacy must be adopted in various country's law of data protection.

Digital Legacies

There are millions of people using Facebook which in turn increasing the valuable asserts of people. Digital legacies considering social networks, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Digital legacy is very important for all the person who are using social sited like Facebook. Facebook is letting its users in the United States designate a contract of legacy which can take control of an account after there death. This is the best option that Facebook is providing to its users a safe security feature that allows a trusted member of family or friends to make one last post on the last behalf of deceased partner (Sugiura, Wiles and Pope, 2017).In addition to this, the partner is also responsible for managing the friend request, update timeline and profile picture as well as achieve the content. Moreover, in the contract of legacy, the partner is also had power or authority to download the post and photos but not private message's and he/she is also not have authority to change the already uploaded post of deceased partners.

The main motive of this security option is that after the death of a person, his/her account cannot be used by anyone. This is new feature which is launched by Facebook and it is rolled out in US and UK. Addition to this, the legacy contract is not a senseless feature as Facebook has tight control on the account after the death of deceased partner. Now people stay connected through online webs so t creates there online asserts which is also a very crucial for them, thus in order to protect the misuse of there online asserts, digital legacy is very useful and helpful for them. There are four main elements of digital legacy which are passwords, online bank accounts as well as financial life, email address along with social media and digital asserts like photos and music (Sugiura,Wiles and Pope, 2017). There unique and appraised feature of this feature is that the partner of deceased person can only use there account one time which also protect the misuse of data. In addition to this, Facebook has takeover Instagram and twitter, so these accounts are also reserves by the contract of legacy.

There are some consideration that users should keep in mind in order to preserve there digital legacy are as follows-

  • The person whom the contract are made should be trusted person.
  • There should always be a software as well as tools for converting and accessing files that over time might become outdated.
  • One should not share more personal pictures on Facebook.

Read Also: Introduction to Information technology in Business- Tesco

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