Reply to post: Re: a solution @AC @Big_D

German court says 'Nein' on Facebook profile access request

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: a solution @AC @Big_D

In this case, the family had the password, but the "friends" had already petioned to put the page into memorial status, so the parents can't access the account.

There are several aspects of this case that are troubling, mainly because of the lack of any real detail in the reports. Also whilst this maybe a German court case, I'm uncertain about the potential implications on EU law which depending on timing will be incorporated into UK law.

Firstly, we should be concerned that Facebook changed the status of an account, seemingly simply on the receipt of messages from other Facebook user(s). Something they should have only done as a result of an official communication that unambiguously and uniquely linked a deceased person to the specific Facebook account.

Secondly, there are questions about the rights of Parents/Guardians of minors. From the Guardian's report ( https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/31/parents-lose-appeal-access-dead-girl-facebook-account-berlin ) it seems "The court said it had made the ruling according to the telecommunications secrecy law which precludes heirs from viewing the communications of a deceased relative with a third party." - clearly in the first instance, Parents/Guardians (of minors) are not simply 'heirs'.

Also the Facebook Terms of Service (putting to one side whether they are actually enforceable) don't allow for the situation where an over 13 user is still a minor in many jurisdictions and hence a parent/guardian have some rights/reasonable expectation of oversight and access.

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