Saturday, May 5, 2012
Noam A. Kutler (Associate in Government Enforcement, K&L Gates) recently published an article entitled, Protecting Your Online You: A New Approach to Handling Your Online Persona After Death, 26 Berkeley Tech. L.J. 1641 (2011). The abstract of this article is available below:
This Note proposes treating one’s online persona as part of one’s estate and handling it in a similar manner as other assets, which can be bequeathed to a designated person. An exception to this general probate treatment, however, arises when a person’s digital assets are left unresolved in his will. In much the same way that past love letters from a deceased husband offer a window into his life, a person’s e-mail, social network postings, and other digital artifacts should also be available after death and the solution proposed here makes that a more likely reality while still protecting the creator’s potential privacy interest. Such a system will result in the fulfillment of the digital creator’s wishes, better guarantees of privacy, and the assurance of a more equitable and better defined legal system for addressing one’s online persona after death.
Special thanks to Naomi Cahn (John Theodore Fey Research Professor of Law, George Washington University School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.