The number of applications which people have accounts with online has grown exponentially in recent years. This is leading to an increased tendency to leave account passwords in wills for friends and relatives.
A study by Goldsmiths at the University of London found that 1 in 10 people are leaving such information behind. This has come from the recognition that people can have their digital identity stolen by hackers if it is left hanging online. Furthermore such accounts are often hit with large amounts of spam.
Matthew Strain, a solicitor told Sky New “With more photos, books, music and so on being stored online and in digital format, the question of what happens to these when people are gone becomes more important everyday.” Such data held in the cloud is collectively worth billions of pounds.
Viviane Reding, the EU justice commissioner stated “the burden of proof should be on controllers – those who process your personal data. They must prove that they need to keep the data, rather than individuals having to prove that collecting their data is not necessary.”