Sunday, April 17, 2011

Digital Media and Life

Life is short. One usually realizes it when an acquaintance or a friend suddenly departs the world. But Facebook made me recognize this fact today. As always, Facebook suggested a friend in ‘People You May Know’ column. Unfortunately he cannot be a Facebook or a non Facebook friend of anyone and a lot of people feel the pain of his death. This brings up a question in my mind. What happens to digital media of a deceased person?

Google, Yahoo and Facebook have policies about the emails and status messages. What happens to blog posts and other media? The laws granting or denying rights to heirs based on the deceased person’s will are applicable on the digital media too. However if the data is on a service provider’s server or password protected, the laws become complicated. Also a lot of people do not write a will and digital media does not have boundaries of the nations either. DSCN1104

I wish all my readers a life longer and greater than the Great Wall of China, but we can not ignore the ultimate reality of the life. May be we shall all consider the simplest possible solution i.e. sharing the passwords with a trusted person or a significant other.

What do you think?

35 comments:

Always Happy said...

Hello A, I have known how difficult it has been for one of my college mate's parents to obtain access to his facebook (private) account when he met with an untimely end to his life.

But I am also not sure of sharing psswords with a trusted person.

I will wait to read all your other readers'comments.

NRIGirl said...

I am for sharing the password with your spouse at least. It simplifies many complications even while living.

Kiran Bajaj Sawhney said...

I would not share my password with anyone, however close. Any other solution?

A said...

@Kiran,

I do have a solution but the question is do you want others to have your password after you are gone? I know it is not happening for another 100 years hopefully...but just in case

Tanvi said...

I am fine with leaving my password with my husband or parents or even my best friend. I guess, I have nothing to hide!

♡ from © tanvii.com

Insignia said...

I have always pondered about this and more. Sharing passwords? Again its case by case. Yes its fine to share passwords unless one might want to hide something even from the most trusted person. If so, have a separate account to store such data which would be lost forever when one dies.

IRFANUDDIN said...

well, there is nothing wrong in sharing our password with some one we can trust upon,
more over i think some times we become little more concerned with our privacy than what we should actually be.

Jyothi said...

I guess my blogs will die with me! I don't think hubby will bother accessing my blogs even if he has the password. :D

Hmm..... I have no issues with sharing my password with someone close enough and trusted enough.

Alka Gurha said...

My password is known to my son and husband and vice versa..what is there to hide?

Whirlwind said...

My password is known to my hubby and no one else.

☆ Rià ღ said...

I dont mind sharing the password with my hubby, there's nothing to hide.

dr.antony said...

Touchy issue.But about the blog,it would be wise to share the password.They outlive us,for sure and let others know that we passed by.

sm said...

yes i agree with you we should give password to trusted one.

Neeha said...

I never thought it that way..
My sister knows my password , I will tel her coz she feels hpy if I let her know my password the movement I change it:)

BK Chowla, said...

Of course, all the family members must have the password.
After all, we are not amongst those with Swiss a/cs that sharing password would create problems.

Renu said...

I have already done it:)..my daughter knows everything...

chitra said...

I and my husband have shared our passwords .there's nothing to hide;)

....Petty Witter said...

Like Chitra and her husband we both know each others passwords and both occassionaly appear on each others blogs so it isn't a problem for us. I suppose for those without close family/friends but who have a will they could leave instructions with a solicitor.

Bikramjit said...

I dont know what happens , I do hope though that when i die or am gone its not FACEBOOK which tells my near and dear ones ... that i ma no more that would be so sad.

I have this wish that people know the moment or at least trhe day ...
One of my best friends passed away and he was sucha lovely and noble soul and he had touched so many people that even now i get a email asking about him and i feel that it makes me sad and i am sure it makes the other people sad too , they did not know then
so I would not want that let all know immediately that way they can mourn or feast as the case may be and not miss on the oppurtunity as the case may be :)

Bikram's

Harman said...

...its sad..One our friends..Maj hardeep Grewal died..and we didn't know ..few days back he had sent his messages to us that he was in Assam...but still profile page is there,,,its not xcessed by his wife..and lot of messages are there..
I think it should be shared b y spouse..
my hubby has all password remembered on his pc...its gets logged automatically ...as he has A/c on every social networking site..lol ..as its hard to remember..something he did for me too ..thou I never wanted ..my emails ,blogs.. official mails...all stored with him..which is also bad in one way ..But then ...he knows what's happening!
he did this for my privacy as my password for hacked couple of times!
I personally believe it should be shared with spouse only!

Usha said...

A, Sad to know about your friend. Now people have two medias to feel the pain, virtual and real. You may know person either virtually only or both ways. It will be good if one more close and trusted person is given access to blog...but a person may have several registration on net so it is really complicated and may be not be necessary to give all passwords..our family email ids can be accessed by all.Now this reminds me that I have to understand all financial access from husband. Lot of things are done online which are unknown to me..Virtually people move fast...few days people miss but they will move on quickly and all virtual contribution of person will stay on net unattended...may be few people will keep accessing via search engines.

Rachna said...

The question has crossed my mind too. I guess, it is fine for the family to know the password.

Rajlakshmi said...

I never gave this a thought...
I agree with sharing password with a trusted person.

suruchi said...

Hi Amrit,
You know people often teased me earlier with jokes that I would probably update a status message on facebook just before I die, informing the world about it...and I actually plan to do that...if god willing I get enough time!
*I know you are thinking I am nuts...I think so too;-)*

How do you care whether your blog or facebook page remains attended or not once you have left the world...I would like my blogger dosts to know that I conked off...but even they after a while would stop bothering with queries of why I disappeared...such is life!

Anjuli said...

I think the sharing the password is a good idea- or if you have a will, have it somehow put in the will for the trustee of your estate to cancel your account. However, I know many of my friends who have died whose relatives have actually left their accounts up as a memorial to them- it is a place where friends or family can leave a message in their memory.

Shobha said...

I recently lost a young cousin who lived in Spain. It is so painful to see people who are not aware of his demise, still sending messages on FB.. maybe his wife, who is Spanish does not have the pass word or does not know English.
I and my hubby share all the pass words.

Geeta said...

Sorry to hear about your friend. It must be disheartening to see his name/images on FB.

raji said...

hm...I have also pondered about this ..but I think it matters so much to people around me.:)

Shobha said...

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ZEAL said...

.

"Once bitten twice shy"

Once I shared my pw with a friend and he badly misused my account. He chatted with all my acquaintances in my name and gathered their personal information .

I will never suggest anyone to share his/her password with anyone. Be it parents, siblings or spouse. It may create some misunderstanding unnecessarily in a beautiful relationship.

PW is something which is very personal. Let it be personal and confined to one only.

After my demise my password will go to my grave. Everything related to me must end with my death.

I have two blogs 'ZEAL' and "Paradise'. If you do not see any post updated on it for a long period , then it will ascertain my death.

Thanks.

.

shooting star said...

yess, i agree with you on this....but that's againa personal choice....i think i have come to associate with my blog so much..i gues when(and if0 i do know im gonna to die , i will definitely share my password with my trusted one and tell him/her to inform the readers of my demise.

Anonymous said...

I have thought of this occasionally. I don´t really have a problem leaving my blog password to someone, as most of what there is is published, but I´m not so sure about email... But anyway, so long as my computer wasn´t destroyed all the info is saved there...

Emily again

shuchita said...

I think sharing password would be a very good idea

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