Your Digital Footprint after Death

In recent years, a question has been raised: Who should have access to your online accounts after your death? Apparently, a group of lawyers are trying to make it easier for your loved ones to get access. The article notes that “the plan is likely to frustrate some privacy advocates.”

However, I had a partially opposite reaction. Given Facebook’s recent record, I think I would hesitate before labeling Facebook the champion of user privacy. As a society, have we really gotten to the point where the secrets we share with companies like Facebook are more intimate than the secrets we share with our loved ones? Personally, I think if you have secrets stored on Facebook that you would hesitate to share with your loved ones, you should consider the possibility that you might be confiding in (e.g. sending private messages, making wall posts, giving biographical details) Facebook just a little bit too much.

That said, I said that my reaction was only “partially” opposite because everyone has secrets, and there may be other online services that do contain information that the deceased would wish to keep from their loved ones. For the sake of my privacy, though, I would hope if there are such secrets, the service in question is one that is worthy of my trust.

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