I recently saw this issue discussed on Tamron Hall’s MSNBC Show, News Nation [3/19/2012]. Hall interviewed Karen Williams, mother of a deceased teen who spent two years battling Facebook for access to her son’s FB page.
“I wanted full and unobstructed access, and they balked at that,” said Williams, recalling her son’s death in 2005. “It was heartbreaking. I was a parent grasping at straws to get anything I could get.” [Source: MICHAEL AVOK, Associated Press]
It raises an interesting legal question. Can contributions (literary, artistic and otherwise) to a social networking environment become the property of your survivors when you die? Are the contributions considered a “digital estate”?
Now lawmakers and attorneys in at least two states are considering proposals that would require Facebook and other social networks to grant access to loved ones when a family member dies, essentially making the site contents part of a person’s digital estate.
Read the full article about Karen Williams and access to her son’s Facebook account and let me know what you think.
What do you think?