What is digital property?
A common-sense solution to this problem that appears to be emerging is for individuals to provide a digital register (Flickr, PayPal, Facebook, Dropbox, etc.), and for each service, to provide the relevant username and password, along with instructions for friends, relatives and the executor of the will to execute upon one’s death. Common-sense though this may be, it is against the terms of agreement of many US service providers (Gmail, Hotmail) who prohibit the provision of one’s username and password to a third party, and forbid any individual from accessing another person’s account, deceased or not. Other online service providers, (particularly Australian ones such as iiNet and Telstra) do allow this and consider an individual who has been given the username and password to be an authorised agent of the account’s owner. Of course, for all practical purposes, the identification of the person using the username and password is impossible to verify.