Bill to Protect Digital Assets Planned


Hawaii News Now – KGMB and KHNL

Concerned that digital assets like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could be lost when owners die, Hawaii state Rep. Angus McKelvey says he is proposing a law that would require they be handled the same way a bank account would be handled.

Adds Hawaii News Now:

State Representative Angus McKelvey plans to introduce legislation that would cover digital assets, not just the currency, but also give family access to apps, photos, files, music, ebooks, even email and social media accounts.

The digital afterlife presents difficult questions, though, as handing over a dead person’s Facebook account may invade the privacy of the dearly departed… and the people who interacted with them.

Several states have similar laws in place, and after Delaware passed a similar law last year, Jim Halpert of the State Privacy and Security Coalition told Ars Technica:

This law takes no account of minimizing intrusions into the privacy of third parties who communicated with the deceased. This would include highly confidential communications to decedents from third parties who are still alive—patients of deceased doctors, psychiatrists, and clergy, for example—who would be very surprised that an executor is reviewing the communications. The law may well create a lot of confusion and false expectations because, as the law itself acknowledges, federal law may prohibit disclosing contents of communications.

Opening day for the Hawaii state legislature is on Wednesday, Jan. 21.


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