It’s been nearly five years since Korean actress Choi Jin-sil died, but her public homepage still lives on in cyberspace.
The site now acts as a digital memorial for the nation’s beloved leading lady, as her fans continue to leave messages of sympathy and appreciation.
Though many photos and journal entries remain online, there hasn’t been a single update since her passing.
Unfortunately due to a lack of legal precedent, even Choi’s family members are unable to manage her account.
“Though there are no current laws that exist to allow family members of the deceased to gain administrative access, the personal site can still be shut down. However, some choose to leave it up.”
The matter of digital inheritance remains a hazy area of law at home and abroad.
It centers around the the fate of our digital property, such as emails, online photos and social networking messages, after we die.
In recent years, an increasing number of families have been voicing a right to reclaim their lost loved ones’ online assets.
International websites like Facebook and Twitter let users decide what they would like to do with their accounts after a period of time, whether it be giving a farewell message or deleting all information.
Meanwhile, the growing public demand for such services has prompted Korean lawmakers to push for broader policies and practical solutions to this problem.
“When you join a portal site and give your personal information, you should also be able to specify what you want to leave behind. This is why a digital inheritance law is needed.”
As we upload more of our lives online, the more significant and larger our digital inheritance becomes.
And in every case, a choice should be given to either leave it as our lifelong legacy or allow our family and friends the peace and closure they deserve.
Paul Yi, Arirang News.