Online Executors? Whatever next…

Facebook has recently announced that it will now be allowing users to appoint an “online executor” to administer their profile once they have died. Is this simply a necessity in modern society or is it a step too far?

The new “legacy contact” feature has been met with mixed reactions from the media but  Facebook has stated that it is simply responding to hundreds of thousands of requests for something similar.

The new feature means that a Facebook account holder can choose their own “legacy contact” by going into their settings, choosing 'security' and then 'legacy contact' at the bottom of the page.

This legacy contact will then be authorised to administer the deceased’s profile after their death and can decide who to add as a friend, whether to change the profile picture and even write a post. Facebook account holders will also be able to give their legacy contact additional permission to download an archive of the photos, posts, and profile information they shared on Facebook.

The legacy contact will not be able to log in as the person who passed away or see that person’s private messages and the deceased’s security settings will not be altered from their pre-death status.

The Law Society has long been in support of people giving clear instructions as to how their digital assets should be dealt with on their death. It seems to me that it is an easy way of ensuring that someone you trust can administer your profile in the most appropriate way.