How to deal with online information, including email addresses and social network profiles, of people after they pass away has become a topic of discussion among members of various industries.
The issue was a focus at the Amsterdam Privacy Conference which was held from October 7 - 10. The attendees included those in law, philosophy, economics, social sciences and other fields of study and industry areas.
One of the most popular discussions revolved around the Facebook profiles of deceased users. IDG News Service indicated that the social networking giant allows the person's page to remain open and act as a memorial of sorts for friends of the user only.
Psychologist Elaine Kasket presented a paper on this subject at the conference, and noted that allowing a dead person's Facebook page to remain open is a considerable help for family members in the mourning process.
One area of concern surrounding the allowance of deceased Facebook members' pages to stay open is that in some instances, it may be possible for friends or other users to post whatever they'd like to the page. The source indicates the company may need to act on amending this, as it could create issues with family members and loved ones of those with a page who pass away, such as unwanted photos posted to a page.Laws May Be Needed To Curb Data Usage
Edina Harbinja, a doctoral student at the Law School of the University of Strathclyde, told the news source this dilemma, and other similar post-life online data concerns, may require more lawful intervention at some point.
She noted that data privacy laws concerning the deceased vary by country. In Estonia, for example, those whole validate use of their personal data to online services allow those companies to use their data for up to 30 years following their death.
As the source notes, there is no single law pertaining to the rights to use a person's data after their death. The current draft of the European Data Protection Directive fails to mention what can and can't be done with the data of those who have passed. However, a post-mortem privacy protection
policy may be added to the regulation.Eduard Goodman
, the chief privacy officer for Identity Theft
911, writes a blog about the concerns consumers may run into when simply browsing the Web, and what they can do to increase their protections.
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