Tuesday, March 12, 2013

INTERNET - What Happens to Your Online 'Estate' After You Die?

"Law Lags Behind in Defining Posthumous Protocol for Online Accounts" PBS Newshour 3/11/2013


JEFFREY BROWN (Newshour):  Billions of people around the world now live part of their lives online, sharing photographs, information on relationships and careers, tweets and more.

But what happens when physical lives end and life in cyberspace goes on?  Of the one billion people who use the social network site Facebook, for example, an estimated three die every minute.  And that can lead to some painful problems.  For one thing, there's no one method or law on the books for how beneficiaries gain access to a deceased person's digital records.

Virginia dairy farmer Ricky Rash ran into that problem after his 15-year-old son Eric committed suicide in 2011.

RICKY RASH, Father:  It was a complete shock, as any suicide is.  But we had absolutely no warning.  Eric kissed his mom good night the night before.  He did his homework.  He Armor All-ed the seats in that Oldsmobile that was his.  He did everything under the sun to show us it was a normal night.

So, with no answers from home, no answers from school, we were just hoping that there may be something that would give us some insight as to why he chose to make the decision he did.  And Facebook was literally the last frontier that we had to investigate.

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