Death Ref John will be at the South-by-Southwest 2016 Interactive conference on Friday, March 11 to discuss digital technology and legacy issues. He’s speaking with a really dynamic group, all of whom represent different angles on the Death and Digital Technology world:
Alethea Lange (@AletheaLange)
Policy Analyst, Center for Democracy & Technology
Megan Yip (@MeganYip)
Lawyer, Law Office of Megan Yip
Vanessa Callison-Burch (@vcb)
Product Manager for Memorialisation, Facebook
And here’s what they will all be discussing:
“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Ben Franklin’s quote has survived because he was a famous man in his time. But haven’t you said some clever things in your time? Maybe even Tweeted them? Technology has democratized history–no longer are only the lives of the rich and famous carefully preserved, now most of us have exhaustive records of our lives in our emails, chats, social media posts, and digital photos. States across the country are updating their estate laws to reflect this new reality, but the right answers aren’t obvious. Should your emails be passed along? Should your online presence die with you? How do you want to be remembered?
You can send the panel questions by using this hashtag: #techlegacy
Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act Approved
A new act approved today by a national law group provides comprehensive provisions governing access to digital assets. The Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (UFADAA) was approved by the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) at its 123rd Annual Meeting in Seattle
Uniform Law Commission Press Release (July 16, 2014)
The Death Reference Desk has been so busy this week with all things assisted dying that we missed an important development in the digital death world.
Earlier this week, the Uniform Law Commission approved a new model law that allows access to digital assets, i.e., photos, documents, social media accounts, etc., by a person other than the original owner if an executor is named.
The ULC develops proposed legislation for potential use by all 50 US States. This particular bill is important for anyone thinking about who or whom will have access to your digital files, assets, properties, e-mails, photos, etc., after you die.
We’ve only got the press release to work from right now, which isn’t ideal, but there will more to come about the ULC’s approval.
The approved bill is summed up this way:
In the modern world, digital assets have largely replaced tangible ones. Documents are stored in electronic files rather than in file cabinets. Photographs are uploaded to web sites rather than printed on paper. However, the laws governing fiduciary access to these digital assets are in need of an update.
The Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act [UFADAA] solves the problem using the concept of “media neutrality.” If a fiduciary would have access to a tangible asset, that fiduciary will also have access to a similar type of digital asset. UFADAA governs four common types of fiduciaries: personal representatives of a deceased person’s estate; guardians or conservators of a protected person’s estate; agents under a power of attorney; and trustees.
But don’t worry, if you want to hide embarrassing e-mail messages or make sure that no one knows about your online shenanigans (we’re not judging) then this proposed legislation covers those situations too.
Just remember: if you don’t want the kids to know about it, then don’t do it online.
I would be Andreia’s Ph.D. Supervisor in Bath and I really want to work with her.
Here’s the rub and hence the fundraising campaign: Andreia received a scholarship from the University of Bath but it doesn’t cover everything. She needs to raise £8,000 (which is just under $14,000) in order to cover some University fees and, most importantly, afford her Visa to study in the UK.
As a non-UK citizen who works in England, I can tell you that Visas are extremely expensive to procure. I’ve spent thousands of both pounds and dollars over the years on Visas. And hours filling out forms.
Andreia isn’t letting the need for additional funding dissuade her from starting her studies. Indeed, her resolve to begin the Ph.D. seems to only get stronger with each passing day.
One of the only ways Andreia has been able to raise the necessary funds is through a crowdfunding website called Student Funder. It’s a legit company and I think her campaign is worth supporting.
Andreia has FIVE DAYS left to raise the £8,000. She’s currently at £3,455.
So anyone and everyone– think about making a donation. It’s a worthwhile cause. I will also make sure that Andreia periodically updates the Death Reference Deask on her studies.
If you click here you will go directly to Andreia’s fundraising page.
I have also added in Andreia’s own appeal for funding and a video of support that I created.
My name is Andreia and I’m a 28 year old journalist and anthropologist from Brazil and since 2008 I have been studying the ways social networks and social media help us deal with death and dying. I have presented a research project and have been accepted for a PhD at the Social and Policy Sciences Department at the University of Bath. My research is about Virtual Wakes.
What is that?
A wake is a ritual where the family and friends of a deceased accompanies the body before it’s buried or cremated. The virtual wake is a live broadcasting of that very moment, and was created so that the ones who could not attend the wake itself can be present with the helping of new communications technology. That moment can be shared with those who never knew the deceased, so my research will be a qualitative study of how the Virtual Wakes can help us deal with death and dying, deepening work I started in 2011.
I am deeply in love with my research area, which only continues to fascinate me every day. In addition, I desire to become a professor in the future and this PhD has been my priority since 2012. Death is a fascinating topic and I am extremely interested in learning how we have been dealing with it in different aspects and eras – and what ways we will come up with in the future.
In 2011 I was awarded a scholarship to complete my masters in Brazil and I have attended, chaired and coordinated sessions in several death-related academic conferences in Argentina, Romania, Austria, England, Chile and Brazil. My master’s thesis was awarded with Praise and Distinction. Bath has awarded me a 75% discount scholarship on the tuition fees but, despite
this generous help, I am still lacking the final £8,000 to pay my fees and gain my visa.
That’s why I have set up this StudentFunder campaign and ask sincerely for your kind support.
Please do take me up on the perks outlined to the right so I can show my appreciation to you, my supporters.