Inheritance of Digital Accounts

  • Abbas Mirshekari
  • Ramin Ghasemi
  • Ali Abedi

Abstract

Today, the use of cyberspace has become increasingly common in a way that everyone in this space has a digital account. This space naturally leads to its own legal issues. Undoubtedly, one of the main issues is that, after the death of users, what fate awaits their accounts, and the contents of these accounts? In answering this question, first, we need to distinguish between the account and the information contained therein: The account belongs to the company that creates it and allows the user only to use it. So, after the death of the user, the account will be lost but the information is a product of the user, so it belongs to him. Now, does this mean that the information after the death of the user will reach his heir? Some authors compare virtual information with material property and believe that the property will be inherited, like material property. On this basis, it doubts the validity of a contractual clause between a user and a company that restricts access to the account after death, because they consider it an adhesion contract. In addition, they see this as contrary to the rules of the law, but the truth is that the analogy of material property with the virtual information is contemplating. Tangible assets often cannot disclose owner's privacy, while the information in the cyberspace is not so. Accordingly, and in the interests of privacy, it appears that the only information that the user publicly publishes and makes available to everybody, as well as the information that is financially valuable, will be transferred with inheritance. As a rule, other information that discloses or violates the privacy of the person will be destroyed; however, given that this information will be a valuable source for the future to know about the lifestyles of our people, it can be suggested to the legislator that the virtual information after a long time, which no longer has a concern about the violation of privacy, be made public and available to the community.

Published
2020-06-12
How to Cite
MIRSHEKARI, Abbas; GHASEMI, Ramin; ABEDI, Ali. Inheritance of Digital Accounts. National Journal of Cyber Security Law, [S.l.], v. 3, n. 1, june 2020. Available at: <http://lawjournals.stmjournals.in/index.php/njcsl/article/view/569>. Date accessed: 03 aug. 2020.