Who Owns Your Facebook When You Die?

Last month marked the ninth Anniversary of the launch of Facebook. Facebook now has over 1 billion active users. In 2004, they only had a million users. It is predicted that an n enormous number of Facebook pages are for deceased people. In fact, Facebook has created a function which allows the site to become a memorial. However, memorialization of a Facebook page, can only be done via online request and the terms of service for Facebook's say that it will not provide login and password information to family members of the deceased. This creates a problem, such as in the situation where a young Canadian girl was being bullied online and eventually committed suicide. The tormentors continued to harass. The family was unable to take the comments down or delete the posts because Facebook would not hand over the password. Therefore, lawmakers are passing laws, giving authority to the executor of the estate to take over social media sites of the deceased. Bills are before legislators now. Some states have already enacted such laws.

It will be interesting to see how the attorneys for Facebook will react. As a lawyer, I am sure that there will be future litigation on the matter.

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