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Delaware Enacts Law Allowing Heirs To Access Digital Assets of Deceased 82

An anonymous reader writes Ars reports: "Delaware has become the first state in the U.S .to enact a law that ensures families' rights to access the digital assets of loved ones during incapacitation or after death." In other states, the social media accounts and email of people who die also die with them since the companies hosting those accounts are not obligated to transfer access even to the heirs of the deceased. In Delaware, however, this is no longer the case. The article notes that even if the deceased was a resident of another state, if his/her will is governed by Delaware law, his/her heirs will be allowed to avail of the new law and gain access to all digital assets of the deceased.
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Delaware Enacts Law Allowing Heirs To Access Digital Assets of Deceased

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  • Re:Or (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jiro ( 131519 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @03:56AM (#47701511)

    Some people have already replied that you might not be able to trust everyone with your password, but that's only one of the problems. The other problem is that although your heirs may be able to physically read the password from your sealed envelope and type it in, just typing in the password won't make your access authorized. Trying to download the deceased's ebooks, music, or apps would be piracy, and even just revealing that you accessed the account (by trying to use the information in it in a billing dispute, or to take it to the press if it is whistleblowing in nature, for instance) could subject you to a selectively prosecuted hacking charge in court to get you to shut up.

    And even if you don't actually get in legal trouble for accessing the account, companies could use the illegal nature of the access to refuse to do things that they would do upon request of the account owner, such as closing the account (if you want it closed), leaving the account open (if you want to keep paying for it), or restoring or sending you a backup.

  • Why death? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @04:39AM (#47701603)

    So transferring digital goods on death is now allowed.

    How about when I'm still alive?

  • Re: Or (Score:1, Interesting)

    by frikken lazerz ( 3788987 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @05:56AM (#47701775)
    How about you read the terms and conditions before paying for something? If you just paid for the access, you're basically renting it and they can revoke your access at any time. If you don't like this, then don't buy their services and they will either change their business model or go out of business. Simple as that.

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers