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Author Topic: Who owns the Data of the Dead?  (Read 610 times)

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Offline FrelanceTopic starter

Who owns the Data of the Dead?
« on: January 18, 2013, 07:08:18 AM »
So I listened to a podcast by Cory Doctorow where he talked about how as time goes on more and more of ourselves is stored on our devices and in the cloud that consists of the internet so I am interested to know if anyone has given any thought to what they would want to be done with their data after they die and who they would trust to go through and only publish or display what they want to be kept. Then purge the rest of the data.

My other question is should we purge anything after death? Why don't we just let those close to use see who we are with nothing hidden after death. It would not effect use after we have died. At least not unless someone finds a way to bring back the dead.

So here is a link to the article that these questions came from.
Internet of the Dead By Cory Doctorow

Offline Shjade

Re: Who owns the Data of the Dead?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2013, 11:15:14 AM »
If I'm dead, I doubt I'll care what happens to my data. My only internet-related death concern is leaving enough information to enable someone in my family to be able to log into the various places I know people and let them know I've passed. Most of them aren't very tech-savvy so that means leaving instructions and passwords and so on and bleh, my security-conscious side cringes at the thought of leaving that kind of explanation lying around. xD

Offline FrelanceTopic starter

Re: Who owns the Data of the Dead?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2013, 11:17:42 AM »
Ya I had the same thoughts. Just getting your accounts shutdown with some of the bigger companies could bring up issues and take a lot of time before they admit that your family has legal control over your accounts once your dead.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Who owns the Data of the Dead?
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2013, 04:01:21 PM »
This reminds me of an event that happened a LONG time ago (early/mid 90s) back when WWIV-net was big. There was a guy who posted a lot on a few threads. He was a sharp kid and one of the guys who helped keep the threads spreading. Thing was he suffered from depression and he eventually committed suicide but came up with ..something that pulled all his posts off the threads before he killed himself.

Given the way WWIV worked.. you'd post on the local BBS.. which would upload the thread posts and download other traffic on the threads, these would then go out from one BBS to another.. in a huge long daisy chain. I was never sure how likely ALL his posts were nuked everywhere.. but he was a big part of the local hub.. so to me.. it was like he 'vanished' overnight.

Today.. you can't erase your entire presence out there. I mean.. there are something like four..maybe five websites I set up and have long since lost access emails to. I know some of my fanfictions are still out there (yeah.. I used to write some) not to mention photos and other things I have given friends.

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Re: Who owns the Data of the Dead?
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2013, 02:20:10 PM »
Interesting questions. I really wouldn't want a state where everything that anyone's been doing on (or over) the web in their lifetime can be dug into and potentially made public after their death. Not because it'd have to be shameful, but because it's private, and not meant for a post-mortem life either.

Another issue that's kind of related: who is going to take care of the judicial rights of the dead? Once the internet has been around for a couple  more decades, and with more and more of our lives getting stored and pulled around online, it will become far easier than it used to be to spread sleazy, insidious and often false rumours about dead persons, especially those that are within living memory - and try to back these rumours and fakeries up with documents, often forged or doctored documents and pictures. If someone is spreading rumours or damaging claims about dead people - whether these are planted anonymously or published in the open right from the start - who is supposed to watch over it if it amounts to calumny and scandal-mongering? And how do we avoid that the entire field of journalism and (poularized) science and history could become a scandal factory? Rumours can be almost impossible to defeat even today, as it is, and the more the web grows the less chances there will be of decisively laying any such stories and claims to rest if they sound cool (to some people, at least). What hits off on the web isn't what can be shown to be true, it's what generates attention and has a "gee whiz!" factor.

At the same time, it's become much, much easier to forge and meddle with pictures and documents so that the changed artifacts look convincing enough to trick even educated newspaper readers, seasoned editors (giving still wider circulation) and even profesionals who know the real thing.

The answer used to be that you don't bother to smear dead men with sh-t and calumnious accusations, unless those are clearly relevant. There was a strong moral bar against it in the public mind and in the way publishers operated, but that bar is getting crunched away. - And because you had to get your thing past an editorial board - for a newspaper, a book publisher, a university or a record company, etc - a good deal of the worst indecencies and muck were stopped, in the past. But now you can publish cheaply on your own, you don't have to convince anybody anymore or listen if they'd say "you can't put it like this unless you have solid proof for it or you show me that it's useful to write that way otherwose I'm not helping you bring it out". The publishing hierarchy is broken, and that's pushing a higher demand for scandal stuff.We're going to need laws soon to protect not just the dead but the living.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 02:44:42 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline band in the rain

Re: Who owns the Data of the Dead?
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2013, 04:08:18 PM »
Unfortunately the world isn't mature enough for this sort of transparency yet. Too much petty division, and far too much wrong-minded scrutiny.

Offline BadForm

Re: Who owns the Data of the Dead?
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2013, 12:39:27 PM »
Hey there gaggedLouise. Do you know what Lizzie Borden is famous for having done? Most people do due to a simple nursery rhyme. Unfortunately what many don't know is she was found not guilty of the crime. Now you can say that that is a trivial and silly response to your post but the simple fact is defaming a dead person's name is by no means something new with the Internet. It goes all the way back through history. It will likely continue onwards in the future too, Internet or no Internet.

The other thing that's been raised here is privacy of data. I take the attitude that anything I put out there may not be private any more. Yes, that's especially true in this Internet age when hacking is rife and, through public sharing of hacking scripts and skills, probably getting easier. However it's always been the case that a secret you shared with just one other person is not reliably a secret anymore. You cannot, after all, control what that person tells whom.

I think being certain information is private is a mistake many make. It really isn't anymore and probably never was. True, I have things out there that I'd rather mum or my boss didn't see but I'm ready to face the consequences if they do. To approach life assuming anything else seems dodgy. :)