Today billions of people live a large portion of their lives online.
Passare Expert Evan Carroll Discusses Digital Assets On PBS
When you consider each person has an average of 20 to 25 online accounts, what happens to our “digital estate” when we pass away? Who has rights to our passwords? Who owns our emails, photos, videos, music and memories shared on social media sites?
It’s a concern that gets bigger each year as our digital assets grow and more online products are created.
Evan Carroll, co-founder of the blog “The Digital Beyond”, co-author of “Your Digital Afterlife“, and Passare expert contributor,” joined PBS NewsHour to discuss the growing legal issue that is tied up in online privacy laws.
He explains current laws have not kept up with the growth of technology. There is no federal law that defines how a beneficiary gains access to a deceased’s digital records. Five states have passed laws that grant authority to access digital accounts, but Congress has no plans to pass legislation.
Just because there’s uncertainty surrounding digital estates doesn’t mean you can’t make a plan:
- Make a list of all your accounts with passwords
- Write down what you want to happen to them
- Share the list with someone you trust
- Do not include passwords in your will; they are public documents and anyone can access them.
Until more laws are passed, at least you’ve documented your wishes and shared them with someone you trust.
Watch Evan on PBS NewsHour at The Digital Beyond.