Defining Online Property - FOX 18 Quad Cities News and Weather

Defining Online Property

Posted: Updated:

Social media has become a part of everyday life for us here in the QCA and around the globe. In fact, Facebook alone has over a billion users.

But what happens to your pictures, videos, and posts when you die? As the law stands now, online property isn't like something physical that can be left in a will.

Facebook recently rolled out several changes they are making to their timeline, but the social networking site doesn't plan to change its policies about deceased personal property anytime soon.

Right now, all social medias operate under a federal law from the 1980's that says online personal property can't be released - ever - even by will and testament.

That means that the social media company owns it, and in the case of Facebook, eventually deletes the profile and all of its contents.

This has caused outrage in other states. Five states, including Nebraska, have passed laws contradicting the federal law, but they are being found unconstitutional.

Now, many in the QCA are sounding off, wanting what's theirs to go to their families and stay on the web even after death.

"It makes me feel a little disturbed," said one local Facebook user, Kristen McCutcheon. "Like with the pictures of my son, I would want those to go to my family. Granted those aren't the only copy, but some of them, that's the only one."

Another local social media user, Layton Coombs agrees:

"I would hate that because I want my family to able to access that and see those forever. Sometimes the only place they are is on Facebook," he said.

Currently, there is no planned action in Iowa or Illinois to challenge the federal law.

There was an attempt to change the law at the national level last year, but it failed in a House committee before it could hit the floor for a vote.

Powered by WorldNow