We often forget that digital property is part of our daily lifes, especially when the conditions create distance between us and the physical world. This is the case with Alison Atkins. She died at 16, of a long struggle with disease, and got more and more connected to the online due to her situation.
Because her sister could not gain access to her computer at first, then to the online services which hosted her writings, poems and pictures, the accounts have been closed one after another, like parts of her online existence getting erased.
The reason behind this is that the law, privacy law, makes it great for living users to control their information, but nothing is prepared for the death of the very same users. To make things even more complicated, these laws completly differ from one country to another. In the case of Alison, they found out a some writings that were made to stay hidden, and service providers are in their right not to disclose the communications.
A google representative mentionned that “It’s crucial to strike a balance” between families and the user’s right to privac