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What Happens to Our Digital Lives After Death?

ONLINE PRIVACY—U.S.

January 27, 2011

Corporate Counsel reports on the amount of our lives spent online, suggesting that "one of the neglected ensigns of Internet citizenship is advanced planning." Lawmakers are just beginning to explore the realm of the disposition of digital assets when online users pass away, the report states, noting that "the most important long-term consideration is who can access a person's online life after they have gone or become incapacitated?" Most states have no provisions in law for information assets stored in the cloud, leaving open the question of "what happens to Flickr photo albums, Facebook profiles, YouTube videos and Twitter accounts residing in cyberspace and locked behind passwords and security settings?"
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