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The New South Wales Law Reform Commission (NSWLRC) has been asked to review and report on access to digital assets upon death or incapacitation. Digital assets can include images, videos, emails, online banking accounts, cryptocurrency, domain names, blogs and online gaming accounts.

The creation of digital accounts, use of digital media and services is common practice amongst Australian consumers. Despite the many ways Australian consumers engage with digital media and online services, there are inadequate legal protections for them and their digital assets after death. This raises questions about the digital legacy deceased Australians leave behind and what should be done to manage it.

 ACCAN has an interest in the current review as we are concerned about how Australian consumers are impacted by the current lack of arrangements in this area. Our submission relies heavily on the updated Death and the Internet 2017 report funded originally by the ACCAN Grants Scheme.

ACCAN believes in educating and empowering Australian telecommunications consumers, so that consumers can make informed decisions. ACCAN also believes that:

  • consumers should be given more control under existing digital terms of service agreements and legislation regarding how their personal digital assets should be handled after death or incapacitation;

  • existing privacy legislation should address how the deceased person’s family members, friends and fiduciaries are to access or manage the digital assets of the deceased person in the future;

  • nominated digital executors should have the technical skills to locate, access, and manage the deceased person’s digital assets

 

Download: docxSubmission on Access to Digital Assets upon Death or Incapacity817.32 KB

Download: pdfSubmission on Access to Digital Assets upon Death or Incapacity449.53 KB