By Jesus Figueroa
In a battle over privacy, lawyers go after Facebook to release accounts of deceased family members to their rightful heirs.
The attempts to change the internet laws came after a mother, Karen Williams, lost her 22 year-old son in a motorcycle accident.
She attempted to use her son’s account as a memorial for friends and family.
Facebook administrators locked her out of the account due to Facebook’s privacy rules.
Williams sued Facebook and won. In spite of her victory, she never had full access to the account which was later deactivated by Facebook administrators.
It is a creepy thought that anyone would be allowed use a Facebook profile that is not theirs.
Shows like MTV’s “Catfish” searches for those deceitful people who use fake accounts.
That may be an extreme example of malice due to fake Facebook accounts, but from the success of the film and show, it happens more often than most would expect.
One would not expect a mother to do something like using their child’s profile.
Identity theft is a growing issue in the United States leaving many devastating unwanted activity, such as frivolous spending associated to the victim’s name.
Does the privacy Facebook users have by using a password to access their personal account end at death or should their privacy continue regardless?
Would anyone want their mother snooping through their private messages and photos discovering a world they have kept hidden?
Facebook administration has their set of rules established to provide adequate care and protect users from any harm.
“You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission,” is stated in the first rule under subcategory “Registration and Account Security” in Facebook’s “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.”
To attempt to keep users safe there are many more rules to discourage fraudulent activity.
“You will not transfer your account (including any page or application you administer) to anyone without first getting our written permission,” says rule 9 in Facebook’s “Registration and Account Security.”
The Stored Communications Act of 1986 protects against getting access or the attempt to get access to private information online.
The argument now leads to the question “can digital assets be considered real estate transferable to next of kin after death?”
It is ridiculous that a mother would snoop through her dead child’s internet life through the content left on Facebook.
Many online profiles are not representative of the true nature behind the person who manages it.
I have two separate pages on Facebook. One is my personal profile which still does not show many things I do or everything regarding who I am.
The second is a Facebook page that displays more of what I do. It is dedicated to my writing and professional life.
Two different sides of me displayed in two different manners.
Probably the best way to immortalized the way a loved one is seen would be to create a page and fix it in a way best fitting to the vision preferred. Then suggest it to all who would appreciate the page.