Tuesday, December 13, 2005

"Who gets to see the e-mail of the deceased?":The Christian Science Monitor

~~ IF you want your email to stay private after you pass on , it seems the onus is on you to state so in your will. Otherwise as this case below ,, the courts can release the the email to your next of kin ~~ TP

Who gets to see the e-mail of the deceased?

Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

....from a legal point of view, e-mail's status is not clear cut. Even the experts can't agree. One law professor describes it as "a property interest," but not intellectual property. Another lecturer on law says absolutely it is intellectual property and is covered by copyright laws.

What makes these legal distinctions more critical is the growing volume of e-mail - and with it rising privacy issues. Free e-mail accounts - some with storage capacities up to 250 MB - allow people to pile up digital photos, documents, and volumes of correspondence without a second's thought. Few people are thinking through the ramifications, says Alan Chappell, a privacy and data-collection consultant."