In the dispute over a girl’s digital inheritance, Facebook must give the heirs direct access to the deceased’s blocked account. This emerges from a decision of the Federal Court of Justice (BGH), which the dpa presented on Tuesday. Facebook had previously given the parents of the 15-year-old from Berlin, who died in a subway station in 2012, only a USB stick with a very large PDF document with unstructured data, said lawyer Christlieb Klages, who has been with the family for years represents.
In the dispute over the digital legacy, the BGH had already decided in June 2018 that Facebook must hand over the girl’s digital legacy to the parents. Facebook was of the opinion that it had complied with the BGH ruling by handing over around 14,000 PDF pages: “We feel with the family. After the decision of the Federal Court of Justice, we sent the family the information on their deceased daughter’s account, including all messages , Photos and posts, “said the network at the time.
The parents turned to a court again because they wanted to access their daughter’s Facebook profile instead to find clues there as to whether the 15-year-old may have committed suicide.
Information on the digital heritage:
Facebook had put the teenager’s active account into a so-called commemorative state after an unknown user informed him about the girl’s death. The parents were no longer able to access the original profile either. The BGH writes in the decision that Facebook could remove the memorial status of the account. There are no indications that the parents would continue to actively use the user account in this case.