A proposed law in the US would dictate how social networks would handle these cases
People die, as much as we like to ignore that. Facebook has one billion active users and, as unlikely as it may seem, some of them die as well. Facebook and most other social networks have policies in place to deal with this.On Facebook, a friend or family member can ask for a profile to be "memorialized" as long as they can prove the actual death.
But one US congressman wants a law in place to deal with the accounts of deceased users, as politicians are wont to do even if the problem is already being handled.
State Representative Peter Sullivan is working on legislation that should give the executor of an estate power of social networking and other online accounts.
He argues that the law is needed to bring everyone in line. Though most online services have some policies in place, they vary from company to company.
Proponents of the bill say that dealing with all of these different sites can be complicated and time consuming for the family, especially during those times.
They also say that such options would be great for families trying to control the online presence of their loved ones, especially in cases of bullying and so on.
However, those opposing the legislation argue that online services already have policies and that such a law would be difficult if not impossible to enforce.
A common mechanism for gaining access to online accounts of deceased users would be great in most cases; however, it would perhaps be inadvisable in others.
More practically, it would be impossible for some online services, such as the ones that do not offer password recovery options and those that can't actually access user data, perhaps because it's encrypted. While these are a few, they do exist, one recent example is Mega.