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Yahoo! won't let family of dead soldier access his account


Jun 6, 2003
Pittsburgh, PA
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what do you think of this. Personally, I think Yahoo is correct. sure, it sucks, but I'm sure there are plently of people that wouldn't want their loved ones (especially parents) reading their email accounts even if they die. Too bad Yahoo doesn't give you chance when you sign up to waive your right to privacy in case you die.

Dead Marine's kin plead for e-mail
Tuesday, December 21, 2004 Posted: 11:01 AM EST (1601 GMT)

WIXOM, Michigan (AP) -- The family of a Marine killed in Iraq is pleading with Internet giant Yahoo! for access to his e-mail account, which the company says is off-limits under its privacy policy.

Lance Cpl. Justin M. Ellsworth, 20, was killed by a roadside bomb on November 13 during a foot patrol in Al Anbar province. The family wants the complete e-mail file that Justin maintained, including notes to and from others.

"I want to be able to remember him in his words. I know he thought he was doing what he needed to do. I want to have that for the future," said John Ellsworth, Justin's father. "It's the last thing I have of my son."

But without the account's password, the request has been repeatedly denied. In addition, Yahoo! policy calls for erasing all accounts that are inactive for 90 days. Yahoo! also maintains that all users agree at sign-up that rights to a member's ID or contents within an account terminate upon death.

"While we sympathize with any grieving family, Yahoo! accounts and any contents therein are nontransferable" even after death, said Karen Mahon, a Yahoo! spokeswoman.
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Sweet Crude
Jun 30, 2004
Findlay, Ohio
I completely agree. When someone dies, they do not waive their right to privacy. While I can understand that a family would want to retrieve something to remember their son by, I'm sure there are things that were discussed in those e-mails that the young man never intended to be public knowledge. I have personally had many conversations with close friends that I wouldn't want to be common knowledge to my entire family.

I think it does a great injustice to the deceased to disrespect the privacy they enjoyed while living...UNLESS there was a situation where evidence may be required to solve a crime (murder, abduction, etc.)

Yahoo! did the right thing here.
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