Va. legislation seeks to protect digital privacy after death

STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Does a person’s right to privacy extend past death? In this digital age, yes, according to legislation passed by the 2015 Virginia General Assembly _ believed to be the first of its kind in the country. The Privacy Expectation Afterlife and Choices Act aims to assure that a person’s electronic footprint remains off-limits after death _ even to his or her close kin _ except under very strictly controlled circumstances. The legislation gives the executor of an estate limited access to a deceased person’s online accounts for the purpose of settling the estate. But the contents of his or her correspondence can’t be disclosed except as provided in advance by a will or an agreement with an Internet service provider.

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