Who Decides What Happens To Your On-Line Content When You Die?


Oath Holdings, Inc. (formerly “Yahoo”) filed a petition with the U. S. Supreme Court regarding a decision regarding disclosure of emails of a deceased person. The case Oath Holdings, Inc. v. Marianne Ajemian and Robert Ajemian concerns who decides what happens to the content of Americans’ personal, often private, email accounts when they die. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts under its interpretation of federal law said that court-appointed estate administrators can access all private email accounts, irrespective of the decedent’s actual wishes. The decision below effectively eliminated personal privacy in email content after death by giving estate administrators complete control over those private communications. Yahoo seeks a writ of certiorari to restore privacy protections Congress created for email users.

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