What Happens To Your Facebook Account If You Are Dead?

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What Happens To Your Facebook Account If You Are Dead

Social media users leave huge digital content from photos, personal data, to private messages behind them. But who owns the social data when you die?

LiveMint today shared a secret to who owns your Facebook profile when you’re dead. Read what Facebook and other social media platform have to say.


With over half of the world accessing one or either social media platform, the question has become more exciting for legal experts to know what happens to the data. During the recent interview between Facebook by Livemint, the Facebook giant said it is against policies to gain access to someone personal account, however, family members can access information through a legitimate request, provided a court order. Read full post: Who owns your Facebook profile when you’re dead?

On contrary, Instagram declined to comment on the recent case Molly Russell, a 14-year-old from Britain who committed suicide in 2017. Her parents told local media they are unable to access data of Molly phone, including Facebook and Instagram account.

Who owns your data?

Who owns your social media data? A country like Britain offers a provision of privacy law to protect individuals right to get a copy of their data. This law was established under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

While the legislation offers no help in inheritance matters. This is because the law applies only on living while there is no right on bequeathing to their heirs.

Unlike, United States (US), the personal data can’t be sold or disposed of. Hence, the owner of the personal data is the individual.

Digital Data Afterlife

The data privacy is different for every country. Facebook updated its policy in 2019, to allow users to appoint family or friends as a “legacy contract” with the right to manage their profile after death. It also allows users an option to permanently close the account after death.

DropBox, on the other hand, determines inactive accounts by looking at a sign in the history of over 12 months. Thus, DropBox deletes files stored from inactive accounts. Similarly, Google allows users to submit a request regarding accounts belong to the deceased users.

Twitter, as of 2019, allows the family member of a decased person to permanently delete the account and related personal data, upon presenting copy of ID and death certificate of a deceased person.

Digital Inheritance After Death

In Germany, heirs can access the deceased social profile data in full after getting a court order to inherit the account. In France, users have the right to tell companies what to do with their data after they die,


While in Canada, the deceased executor can access digital assets by default. In France, people have the right to tell companies what do to with their data after they die, while in Canada, the deceased’s executor can access digital assets by default.

Legal Options

Expert opinion on the data right of a dead person is that any family member can resent a court order against data misuse by social media. However, there are many countries and companies that allow access to deceased information upon request, which is ideally right.

Do let us know what’s your take on social media data right after death!

Sakshi Bali

Sakshi Bali

Hi, I have been working in the information technology industry for 8 years. With core in economics, market research, and business planning, I have study over 500 business niche. I love writing. Digital Shiksha is outcome of my passion for research, study, experience, and result. With only one objective to share my findings with people through a safe online community. If you love what i said, then do not forget to follow the blog.

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