Instructions: How to work with this module
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DID YOU KNOW…
- Every 3 minutes a Facebook user dies in Germany. But on the Internet, those users might live on for a long time.
- Every year, people across the world generate 1.8 zettabytes of data. This corresponds to the equivalent of 200 million feature films.
PEOPLE LEAVE, DATA STAYS
WHAT DOES “DIGITAL ESTATE” MEAN?
A digital estate comprises all of the electronic data a person leaves behind on a digital device (e. g. computer, tablet, smartphone) and on the Internet after his or her death. This includes customer and social network accounts. Whether on the Internet or on a hard drive – the deceased’s messages, photos and images are also part of their digital estate.
WHAT BELONGS TO YOUR DIGITAL ESTATE?
Think about it before you continue scrolling: Does his family have to pay this bill?
However, you can contact the company issuing the bill directly. Recent purchases may still be subject to the right of withdrawal. Or the company is accommodating and foregoes payment.
Think about it before you continue scrolling: Can Christina prevent others from posting to her late husband's chronicle?
A similar case has gone to court in 2012: The parents of a deceased fifteen-year old girl in Germany were hoping to access their daughter’s account and thus gain insight into her sudden death by analyzing her messages and chats. However, Facebook had already memorialized her account, making it impossible for the parents to log in even though they knew the username and the password. The German Federal Supreme Court passed judgement on the case, deciding that personal data such as social media accounts are passed on to the family. With this judgement, family members could get access to their deceased relatives’ social media accounts in the future.
Think about it before you continue scrolling: Does the data on the laptop also belong to Christina?
Think about it before you continue scrolling: Can the relatives ask the providers for the access data they require?
MY DIGITAL ESTATE
DIGITAL ESTATE – BUT HOW?
DIFFERENT TYPES OF ACCOUNTS
THE LEGACY CONTACT
To find out how to determine a data heir or legacy contact on Facebook, click here.
HELP WITH YOUR DIGITAL ESTATE
You can find samples and templates for drafting a power of attorney or will for your digital estate here.
DIGITAL ESTATE – THEN WHAT?
Under the #nachhall hashtag the German website “digital-danach.de” collects comments about digital estates. They address thoughts, fears and doubts about this topic. Would people rather disappear from the Internet? Or do they like the idea of “living on” on the Internet?
ONLINE CONDOLENCE BOOK
This tradition is now being continued on the Internet. Mourners can express their sympathy on the pages of large daily newspapers and with other providers. These online condolence books can also be linked to the QR codes of the digital gravestones.
LIVING ON, ON THE INTERNET
Eugenia Kuyda is trying something similar. With the help of chat messages and e-mails, she developed an artificial intelligence that sends her messages similar to those of her deceased husband.
Opinions differ on this subject: Should death remain something definitive?
SETTLE YOUR ESTATE
You can find a summary of the module in the download section.