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A Facebook account is inheritable, the Federal Supreme Court has decided. Good. But we have to be even more concerned about who reads after our death.

BGH Verdict: Everything else would have been scary

A Facebook account is inheritable, the Federal Supreme Court has decided. Good. But we have to be even more concerned about who reads after our death.

BGH Verdict: Everything else would have been scary

StellenSie, a family member dies. They are enlisted as heirs, even imtestaments deceased has, that y should be -or one who cleans DieWohnung. You've had key anyway for years. You go Alsozu apartment and you want to unlock it. Even before y arrive, landlord is standing in door frame and tells m that unfortunately he cannot let m in. The contract was between him and Verstorbenenbestanden – and not with m. There are also private letters and photos in apartment. He doesn't know if tenant really wanted her to diesehen. and wher authors would agree with that too. Therefore, do not allow inlet könneer.

Klingtabsurd? It is, too. But exactly with this reasoning, Facebook DenEltern wanted to ban a deceased 15-year-old from accessing ir profile. The operators of social network argued that it was necessary to make sure that derpersönliche exchange between people on Facebook was protected. The company Beriefsich to telecommunications secrecy: disclosure of account would author and recipient of news. During DerKorrespondenz, y would have assumed that chats would remain private.

Facebookals Guardians of data protection? Of course, SokenntmandassozialeNetzwerk.

Family members may look into privacy

Glücklicherweisehat The Federal Supreme Court (BGH) could not be impressed by this argument. There, competent board decided that a Facebook account is basically heritable. Also letters and diaries eventually went üblicherweisean heirs, it was said in explanatory statement of judges. Digital content must be treated mannicht differently. As a sender of a message you have only DieGewissheit that content goes to a specific user account, not to einebestimmte person. After death, right to data has heirs – not started.

© Michael Heck Lisa Hegemann

Editor at digital department, Time online

to author page

Parents 15-year-old, who had died in 2012, wanted to know wher messenger messages of her daughter indicate wher DasMädchen was likely to commit suicide. The mor even had dieZugangsdaten to her daughter's profile. However, after ir death, Dassoziale network put account in so-called commemorative state: no one can log into account Dannnoch, non-public contents remain hidden AuchHinterbliebenen. Until now.

With his decision, BGH finally created a legal basis for AlleKontoinhaberinnen and holders of digital services. Previously, Internetnutzerzwar were able to hold in a testament who can access ir accounts after ir death. Wher this wish would be met, however, whose konntensie not be certain. Not only Facebook, but also Google played itself as a Geheimnishüterauf and stated that you treat data of users confidentially. In an emergency, heirs had to hope for favor of tech companies.

With verdict, data is inherited

If BGH had decided orwise, platforms would have left digital tracks, we on m, so y should hoard forever. What companies had done with data would have been completely in ir power. Not even our closest relatives could have prevented furr use. Dankdes BGH judgment, this scenario remains in Subjunctive II. Everything else would have been scary too.

DieRichterinnen and judges of III civil Senate BEWEISENMIT verdict that y consider rights on net alshohes well. Many times court in Karlsruhe has Internetanbieternnotwendige limits and defends our data – for example in case of Preisvergleichsportalenoder UngefragtenProtokollierung of IP addresses.

DieEntscheidung against Facebook follows this line now. Our data, after our death, is in hands of people we have trusted in life – andnot into those of large tech platforms. We will refore have to be more concerned about what we write in our lifetime – because our descendants will be able to read it. But this is always better than making our data to companies like Facebook.

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