New law lets some access Facebook, email of the dead

Apr 4, 2016

Credit Rock1997 via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0

A new Michigan law offers ways for certain people to access the online storehouse of memories in Facebook and Google accounts after the owner dies, but the bill sponsor says it wasn't easy to get tech companies and lawyers to agree on the new rules.

While mega tech corporations like Google and Facebook tout privacy concerns, lawyers representing families or loved ones fought to access electronic communications like emails and other digital assets.

Republican Rep. Anthony Forlini credits himself for getting all the lawyers to hash out the bill which creates a legal avenue for those designated to access social media accounts and emails of loved ones.

A Google representative says the new law offers the "right balance" between privacy and access.