CDT – Everybody Dies: What is Your Digital Legacy?
NetChoice, a trade association that represents many technology companies including Facebook and Google, has laid out an alternative proposal titled the Privacy Expectation Afterlife and Choices Act (PEAC). This model requires companies to disclose contents only when a court finds that the user is deceased, and that the account in question has been clearly linked to the deceased. Additionally, the request for disclosure must be “narrowly tailored to effect the purpose of the administration of the estate,” and the executor demonstrates that the information is necessary to resolve the fiscal administration of the estate. And even then, the amount of information is further restricted to the year preceding the date of death. This is stringent guidance meant to protect the privacy of those who communicated with the user while also ensuring that their loved ones can access important financial statements that may be delivered to the account. CDT supports the principles laid out in the PEAC bill, and we urge policymakers considering this issue to adopt this approach.