Social Media & Privacy Issues

Mar 12, 2013

A bereaved father is calling on the Governor to sign legislation allowing parents to have access to their deceased minor child’s social media accounts.

Service providers had rebuffed Ricky Rash of Nottoway when he asked them for help after his son died in 2011.  He also hopes the new state law will inspire federal legislation.

Rash has been searching for answers after his son, Eric, committed suicide.  

The 15-year-old honor student planned to attend Virginia Tech and Harvard Law School, and his sudden death stunned everyone.  

Rash contacted Facebook and others to access his son’s accounts, but was told he could not due to a 1986 federal law, which he says has not kept up with technology.

The bill requires providers to give parents access to a deceased minor’s e-mail, social networking, and online accounts within 60 days of receiving a request and death certificate.  Rash has communicated with the Governor’s staff and thinks McDonnell will agree.