The Digital Legacy and the Law

Flora Minaire
June 29, 2022
2 min. of reading

The digital legacy and the law

Until 2016 the fate of personal data present on the Internet in case of death was not protected by any particular legislative framework. The Lemaire Law of 2016 attempts to remedy this by granting the right to digital death. What solutions are now possible for the common man in order to transmit his digital heritage in the best conditions?

The transmission of your digital heritage

In our modern society where emails have replaced letters and our vacation photos are posted on our Facebook profiles, it makes sense to wonder about the protection of our data in case of death. The same goes for the files you save on your cloud. How can you be sure that this information will be easily accessible to your heirs if they need it? With the rise of digital technology becoming more and more important in our daily lives, it has become urgent for the authorities to react by proposing an adapted legislation. Indeed, during an inheritance, the goods of the deceased are all listed in order to be distributed among the legatees. It was therefore logical to legally frame the digital inheritance. Thanks to the Law of October 7, 2016, it is now possible to be forward-looking by preparing the transmission of all of one's assets, including virtual assets, as of today.

👉 Pass on your digital heritage on Solal Tech.

The establishment of a Digital Republic

Faced with the rise of social networks and the multiplication of online services, the State launched a major national consultation at the end of 2014. This was aimed at defining the challenges of digital in our modern societies. The new legislation adopted two years later focuses on three main areas:

- the circulation of personal data and knowledge ;

- protection of users' rights;

- digital access for the entire population.

It is in this context that the notion of digital death was born. Provisions have been made for the protection and transmission of sensitive data after a death. The law also gives the possibility to designate during one's lifetime the legatee of one's choice to manage the conservation, the diffusion or the suppression of one's digital heritage.

Solutions to predict your digital future

The conditions of application of the Lemaire Law are still rather vague. Nevertheless, we are starting to see solutions appear to foresee the transmission of one's digital heritage in a simple and secure way. Virtual safes are one of them. They allow you to gather all your identifiers, passwords or identification keys to avoid your heirs from sometimes tedious searches. This procedure must obey a precise regulation aiming at protecting your private life after your death. The platforms governing these new type of services are indeed obliged to receive an official document from a notary in charge of your estate. The company will then be able to transmit the information that you have previously entrusted to them. The ever-increasing importance of the Internet in our lives suggests that these will services will multiply in the near future.

👉 Learn more about the will.