Widespread confusion over who owns online accounts after death

April 13, 2015, 1:47 PM GMT+0

New YouGov Omnibus research, commissioned by law firm Mischon de Reya, reveals a widespread confusion about the ownership of digital assets after death.

The research revealed a serious lack of understanding over who owns digital content after death. Over a third of adults online (36%) believe that Facebook own content by default after death; 20% think that next of kin inherit the content; over one in four (27%) don’t know; whilst 17% believe that no-one owns the content.

The survey also suggests that apathy amongst digital service users may be fuelling the risks. Almost half (48%) of respondents admitted to not reading the T&Cs before opening an online account, whilst 40% admitted to not reading them and continuing to use the service when contacted about a T&Cs update. Only one in five (20%) claimed to fully understand the terms and conditions before they opened an online account.

The research revealed that people are not sharing their digital passwords with loved ones or in their will. More than half of adults (52%) said no-one, including friends or family, would be able to access their online accounts should anything happen to them.

See the full results here

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