Inheritance Of Social-Media And Email Accounts


The legal regime for digital objects of civil rights in Russia and abroad is still being formed. Scholars actively study turnover capacity of digital rights, including such common ones as social-media and e-mail accounts. One of relevant issues is the analysis of feasible inheritance of social network and e-mail accounts. In this regard, the authors examine the concept of an account, its essence and content, types, properties, the order of account registration, and the ways of identifying the user the account belongs to. The article states that both in the Russian Federation and many foreign states, there is no legal regulation concerning accounts being civilian use and succession objects. This results in legal uncertainty that concerns accounts being legal objects, in particular, those of inheritance, and leads to casework challenges. It is necessary to note that at the moment these issues are controlled by social-media administrators themselves. Having analyzed some examples of foreign law practice approaches, the authors provide scientific basis for the need to enshrine in law different legal regimes of heirs' access to the accounts of the deceased, depending on the type of the account and the purpose of its use by a previous owner. What concerns the problem of ensuring protection of personal data of the persons the deceased corresponded with, the authors prove the position that inheritance of the account should be analogous with cash claim from bank deposits, while getting private information should be permitted only in exceptional circumstances.

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20 January 2022

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1st Edition




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Gavrilov, V. N., Ermolova, O. N., & Ladochkina, L. V. (2022). Inheritance Of Social-Media And Email Accounts. In S. Afanasyev, A. Blinov, & N. Kovaleva (Eds.), State and Law in the Context of Modern Challenges, vol 122. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 208-213). European Publisher.