Minnesota’s KSTP-TV Eyewitness News ran a video story on January 20, 2015, by Tom Hauser about the Anderson family who tragically lost their nineteen-year-old son, Jake. Their son’s death was ruled accidental, but the family wants answers about the events leading up to his death. They have tried unsuccessfully to obtain copies of Jake’s final emails, text messages, social networking posts, photos, and cell phone data from service providers.
The Anderson family started an online petition asking the Minnesota State Legislature to pass a law clearly authorizing fiduciary access to a deceased person’s digital data. At the time of this blog post, there were over 4,000 online signatures to that petition. If you’d like to show your support, the online petition is available here: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/accessing-jakes-digital-data.html.
The video story includes an interview with Andersons and an excerpt of their testimony on January 20, 2015, before the Civil Law and Data Practices Committee of the Minnesota House of Representatives in support of a bill to enact the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (UFADAA) in Minnesota. My colleague Gene Hennig and I also testified at this committee meeting, a brief excerpt of which is included in the video story.
The full text of UFADAA is available on the Uniform Law Commission’s Web site, as well as a brief summary of UFADAA and a list of reasons why states should adopt UFADAA.