German court rules parents can view dead daughter's Facebook account

12:26 (GMT+2) Thu, 12 Jul 2018

Karlsruhe, Germany (dpa) - The parents of a girl who died in 2012 have the right to access her Facebook account, ruled Germany's highest criminal and civil court Thursday.

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) thus reversed an earlier ruling by a Berlin court, which based its decision on the law regarding confidentiality in telecommunications.

The courts had deliberated whether digital information could be seen as equivalent to analogue communication; in other words, whether survivors of the deceased could read chats and emails in the way they could letters.

The Facebook account had been locked since the 15-year-old girl fellin front of a Berlin underground train in 2012.

The girl's parents have lived with uncertainty about whether their daughter died as the result of an accident or committed suicide. They were hoping for a clue from the Facebook contents.

Facebook based the blocking of the account on data protection, noting that release would affect all the users the girl had been in contact with.


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