Should Justin Ellsworth's Parents Have Been Given Access to His Email?

818 WordsOct 9, 20104 Pages
Should Justin Ellsworth’s Parents have been given access to his email? Every day, thousands and millions of people flood the world with e-mails. Most youngsters keep online journals and share photos online with friends and family. And each day, many of us die. What happens to the contents of a deceased’s laptops and e-mail accounts? Would a deceased want his or her family to read the e-mails? What would happen if a deceased stored work files on his or her computer that belonged to his or her employer? Could a deceased assign a representative to go through the computer and clean out any files the deceased didn’t want anyone to see? In general, private letters that are used for communication are seen as personal property. When one dies,…show more content…
There has yet to be a definitive court ruling on the status of e-mail. The largest number of people being happy in this case would be the general public and judging from the overwhelming support for the parents the general public wanted Yahoo! to release the emails. The deontological consideration only takes into account what the “right” thing to do is. It is not black and white in this particular case. For obvious reasons, an email account should not be on public display when someone passes away. I do think that if someone specifies in a will or in some type of legal document their wishes for an email account, those should be followed through. Yahoo’s perspective however is cut and dry. There was a contract between Yahoo and Justin that stated when Justin passes away, the account will be deleted. Because the only legal document in this case was the agreement between Yahoo and Justin, I believe the “right” thing to do would be to terminate the

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