Parents have right to access dead daughter’s Facebook profile, German court rules

The German girl’s parents argue the contents of their daughter’s Facebook account are legally identical to a private diary or letters that might be returned to loved ones after a person’s death, exactly like an inheritance. (AFP)
Updated 12 July 2018
0

Parents have right to access dead daughter’s Facebook profile, German court rules

BERLIN: Heirs in Germany have the right to access the Facebook accounts of their deceased relatives, a court ruled on Thursday, saying a social media account can be inherited just as letters are.
The Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe ruled the mother of a 15-year-old who was hit by a train in Berlin in 2012 could have access to her daughter’s Facebook account, which the company locked for privacy reasons.
The deceased girl’s parents wanted access to the account to establish whether her death was suicide or an accident.
Facebook had turned the girl’s profile into a so-called “memorial page,” where access to the user data is not possible although the content still exists on Facebook servers.
A lower court had ruled in favor of granting the parents full access to their daughter’s account data, but Facebook had appealed against the ruling.


WhatsApp to limit message forwarding

This photo illustration shows an Indian newspaper vendor reading a newspaper with a full back page advertisement from WhatsApp intended to counter fake information, in New Delhi on July 10, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 20 July 2018
0

WhatsApp to limit message forwarding

  • Indians forward more messages, photos and videos than any other country in the world

NEW DELHI: WhatsApp announced curbs on its service in India on Friday in an effort to stop a spate of horrific lynchings and to assuage government threats of legal action in its biggest market.
More than 20 people have been killed by mobs in the past two months across the country after being accused of child kidnapping and other crimes in viral messages circulated on WhatsApp.
The Facebook-owned firm said on Friday that in India it will test limiting the ability of users to forward messages, and will also experiment with a lower limit of five chats at once.
It addition, it said it will “remove the quick forward button next to media messages,” a statement said.
“We believe that these changes — which we’ll continue to evaluate — will help keep WhatsApp the way it was designed to be: a private messaging app,” it added.
Under pressure from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, the firm had already announced new features to help users identify messages that have been forwarded.
WhatsApp had also bought full-page adverts in Indian newspapers with tips on how to spot misinformation.
But in a strongly worded statement released late Thursday, India’s information technology ministry said the action taken was not enough.
“Rampant circulation of irresponsible messages in large volumes on their platform have not been addressed adequately by WhatsApp,” the ministry said.
“When rumors and fake news get propagated by mischief-mongers, the medium used for such propagation cannot evade responsibility and accountability,” it said.
“If (WhatsApp) remain mute spectators they are liable to be treated as abettors and thereafter face consequent legal action.”