Friday 24 November 2017

Facebook accounts 'will be left in wills'

John Fallon

PEOPLE may soon have to start including their Facebook and other social media accounts in their wills if they want family to have photos and other items after they die.

A legal symposium at NUI Galway at the weekend heard that the days of families inheriting shoeboxes of photos and correspondence will soon end and instead families will be left in a legal limbo.

Damien McCallig, a PhD student in the School of Law at NUIG, said it was almost inevitable that people would have to start specifying who should have their Twitter, Facebook and other social media accounts.

He addressed a symposium, "Privacy from birth to death and beyond", at NUIG and said there was a vast area which was not governed by legislation.

"In time people and families will look back when loved ones die and find they no longer have shoeboxes of photos, scrapbooks or contact lists. They were all stored digitally on Facebook, Gmail, Google and others."

Mr McCallig said that even when people try to sort out these issues before they die, they may encounter problems.

"What the service providers will do is come back and say, 'Sorry, you signed up to the terms of service'."

Irish Independent

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