In death, Facebook photos could fade away forever

Mar 01, 2013 by Lauren Gambino
This Feb. 16, 2013 photo shows a printout of the Facebook page for Loren Williams, now deceased, at his mother's home in Beaverton, Ore. Karen Williams, who battled Facebook over the right to view Loren's Facebook page, has been urging lawmakers for years to do something to prevent others from losing photos, messages and other memories that otherwise could be accessed at the click of a mouse. This year the Oregon Legislature took up the cause, only to be turned back by pressure from the tech industry, which says they must abide by a 1986 federal law that prevents them from sharing such information. (AP Photo/Lauren Gambino)

(AP)—A grieving Oregon mother who battled Facebook for full access to her deceased son's account has been pushing for years for something that would prevent others from losing photos, messages and other memories—as she did.

The Oregon Legislature responded this week and took up the cause with a proposal that would have made it easier for loved ones to access the "" of the deceased, only to be turned back by pressure from the tech industry, which argued that both a 1986 federal law and voluntary terms of service agreements prevent the sharing such information—even if such a request were included in a last will and testament.

In this Feb. 16, 2013 photo, Karen Williams poses with a photo of her deceased son, Loren, in Beaverton, Ore.. Williams, who battled Facebook over the right to view Loren's Facebook page, has been urging lawmakers for years to do something to prevent others from losing photos, messages and other memories that otherwise could be accessed at the click of a mouse. This year the Oregon Legislature took up the cause, only to be turned back by pressure from the tech industry, which says they must abide by a 1986 federal law that prevents them from sharing such information. (AP Photo/Lauren Gambino)

Still, the problem persists and discussions on the issue have gained momentum across the nation.

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extremity
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 01, 2013
That is basic privacy. I'm sorry, but if you don't have someone's password(s), there's a reason for that. It's not your business (unless they are under 18). Just because someone has passed doesn't mean that their private digital life is any of your business, regardless of whether or not they are related to you. Its basic respect of that person to let their privacy remain just that, private. It wasn't your business when they were alive, and unless their are legal implications, it isn't when they have passed.
dollymop
not rated yet Mar 01, 2013
not sure i understand. if anyone is listed as a friend they can 'share' anything right into their own timeline. perhaps she didn't have a computer, but in that case probably another 'friend' could have helped. if she wasn't listed as a friend on purpose, then that's the way he wanted it. it seems a lesson though, to share your password with people who are important to you, so they can help if anything happens to you.
d3bug
not rated yet Mar 02, 2013
That is basic privacy. I'm sorry, but if you don't have someone's password(s), there's a reason for that. It's not your business (unless they are under 18). Just because someone has passed doesn't mean that their private digital life is any of your business, regardless of whether or not they are related to you. Its basic respect of that person to let their privacy remain just that, private. It wasn't your business when they were alive, and unless their are legal implications, it isn't when they have passed.


I hate to break this to you, but in the real world, the next of kin has a right to all assets (or whoever is named in the will) including things you may have wanted to keep secret such as that safety deposit box with the human head, or those dresses you would dress up in front of the mirror with while wearing that leather teddy and recording it on digital tape for your own amusement. So suck it up buttercup, and don't support an industry that thinks they are reality.
extremity
1 / 5 (1) Mar 04, 2013
I, like most adults, am well aware of what happens to loved ones and property after death, estates, trust funds, next of kin, insurances, funerals and so on.

Admittedly, it is much easier to have their digital information to get their life squared away. But, just because a person is deceased, does not mean they lose all rights to privacy. Particularly because that person is no longer able to defend his/herself.

There's too much to say about such a sensitive topic to post here. 1,000 characters is not enough. I'd like to carry this discussion elsewhere.

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