Judgment: Facebook does not have to release accounts of deceased children

FacebookFacebook Accounts of Departed Children – The social network Facebook does not have the account of a deceased minors to release their parents, the chamber court ruled Berlin. The protection of others is contrary to the parents’ rights.

Facebook account of deceased children

The Facebook account of a child does not have to be released after his death for the parents, decided the chamber court Berlin. A 15-year-old had collapsed in front of a Berlin subway in 2012 and died after the collision. The parents asked the social network to hand over the daughter’s account to her as heirs and grant access. Among other things, they wanted to look for a suicide in the personal news that the daughter had exchanged with others before the disaster.

Although the mother had the daughter’s access data, she could not log into the account after her death. A friendly user had informed Facebook about the misfortune, the social network had switched the profile of the girl into the commemorative mode. It was still online, could be viewed by friends and used to post common memories, but denied the login and access to personal messages. The dispute between the parents and Facebook ended in court.


Facebook account does not have to be shared

In the first instance, the Landgericht Berlin ruled 2015 for the parents and judged that the Facebook account was a digital heritage and should not be treated differently than diaries, photos and letters. In addition, the parents are allowed to know as a custodian, about which their child communicates online – even beyond his death. Facebook appealed against the decision.

The Berlin chamber court now came to a completely different judgment and placed itself on the side of Facebook. For the judges the protection of others was superior to the parents’ inheritance. Friends and friends of the girl exchanged with this personal messages and led private conversations into the belief that these would not be public. They are therefore protected by the secrecy of telecommunications. Parents can proceed against the sentence and let the case again before the Federal Court in Karlsruhe negotiate.




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