4hw.com.cn: now that we have entered the digital era, social networking platforms such as e-mail, QQ number and wechat have become virtual digital assets different from real assets. What about QQ and wechat after death?
Recently, a digital heritage lawsuit in Germany has aroused widespread concern -- the German Federal Supreme Court ruled that the heirs have the right to inherit the social accounts of their deceased relatives.
The lawsuit was triggered by the death of a 15-year-old girl who was hit by a train on the Berlin subway. The parents of the dead girl can't log in their children's Facebook account with the password, so they can't understand whether the death of the girl is due to suicide or an ordinary traffic accident.
The court's final decision gave comfort to the girl's parents. However, the inquiry of "Digital Heritage" has not stopped, and the disputes caused by it appear in every corner of the world from time to time.
In fact, it is a real problem that cannot be avoided. In the digital era, e-mail, QQ number, wechat and other social networks, personal space, even including the traces of network use, pictures, purchased digital audio and video products and services, have become another kind of property different from the real property -- digital virtual property. These 'visible but untouchable' properties sustain our networks and record every bit of our lives.
The value of "digital property" may be different from each other. In practice, the inheritance of these "properties" is still difficult. Especially when digital property becomes digital heritage, there are more and more disputes.
With the rapid expansion of the number of Internet users, such disputes are also increasing. In 2017, there were 4 billion internet users in the world and 750 million in China. With the rapid development of network economy, social networks are evolving rapidly. The economic and emotional value of all kinds of personal digital property or heritage is prominent.
There are two main problems in the disposal of Digital Heritage: first, its legal position is not clear; second, many network operators and network platforms sign agreements with users with 'privacy protection' clauses. This means that the user has only the right to use the account, but not the right to own it, so other people can't get the user's content, which also excludes the inheritance right of digital heritage.
At present, the network data protection of the deceased is still in the gray area of the law. How should the society, network operators and platforms treat the digital heritage? All countries are exploring.
The United States as a whole has no clear legislative support, but 'Digital Heritage' has begun to be written into the laws of some states. In the laws of Britain, Germany and other countries, there are some provisions on digital heritage, which are in continuous improvement. In addition, each Internet company and it company have different processing methods for user network data.
The judgment of the German digital heritage case is enlightening, but it is also urgent to clarify two aspects.
First, whether the digital information can be recognized as' property ', so that the heirs have legal basis for the acquisition of the digital information of the heirs. Secondly, will the acquisition of digital heritage violate the privacy of the heirs and other people who have private letters with the heirs? The German case means that the digital content of private letters can be considered by referring to letters.
What's more, many Internet products are integrated services at present, for example, social software can buy wealth management products, transfer, bundle membership cards, bus cards, stored value cards and pay various taxes. In other words, many users' accounts already contain not only digital information that cannot be identified as' property ', but also real property. In this situation, it has become an urgent problem to promote the system of access to user accounts and digital information heirs.