• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

discuss: yahoo witholds lost childs email from parents

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
yahoo refuses to give password to dead sons family

I have mixed feelings here...the family would like his email as their final remembrance of their lost child...they feel his email was his property, and it becomes their property on his death

yahoo has a privacy policy that prohibits this

at first, I thought just give the family the email.

but then I think: what if there are writings that this child never wanted his parents to know

as an example, what if he had a male lover and didn't want his mom and dad to know...or even things more personal then that

I think I side with yahoo, though it would pain me to withold what would be their last memory of their child


Glaanies script monkey
Political User
The "child" was a 20 year old man, a marine, I really don't want some of my personal infomation delivered to my parents if I bought it. I would have to agree with Yahoo.


Spammer representing.
Political User
I can agree wholly with Yahoo on this one, while it is a posession or property, it still is confidential. As perris said, there could be things that he was keeping secret from others. If he had wanted his parents or others to know the contents of his account he would have-could have shared the password.

I keep everything that I feel is too personal locked in a special place, both in my PC and at home. I would like to have it specified that it gets deleted-formatted and destroyed if I ever die.


Political User
I use encrypted filesystems for just that purpose. If i die the data goes with me. There is no way to get it back.

I sure don't want my parents looking at the emails i have been sending!


Political User
this is a touchy subject.
i do agree with yahoo...
but i think the media will bleed this one out, and there will be some kind of agreement.


Double O Egghead
once the door is open you will see it accellerate - to prevent abuse someones parents access their kids email. then - i went on a trip and my friggin parents accessed my yahoo account etc.....
employer need to investigate if an employee sent data through yahoo etc.....

yahoo could ask the question when you open an account incase of tragidy grant third party access?


Glaanies script monkey
Political User
Don't start the slippery slope argument. If it was a kid under 18, I would have a different opinion, but this is a man. Parents have the right to be parents.
Personally, I think Yahoo is wholey in the right in this situation. This email was their adult son's personal information and they have no right to want to go through it cuz he may have had some very personal things in there he didn't intend for anyone else to ever see.


(value not set)
Staff member
Political User
j79zlr said:
Don't start the slippery slope argument. If it was a kid under 18, I would have a different opinion, but this is a man. Parents have the right to be parents.
I 100% agree with you, there is a point were you have to draw the line. If there is something there they need it might be different(but what would they need so bad?). I WOULD NOT want to be the one to make this choice.


Double O Egghead
j79zlr said:
Don't start the slippery slope argument. If it was a kid under 18, I would have a different opinion, but this is a man. Parents have the right to be parents.
I really don't care if you care if they are under 18 or not. the internet is full of imposters and I really couldn't care less why they wanted access to someones email. yahoo needs to think this through or be bombarded with "bs" requests from everyones parents or lovers.

leave it for the legal system.

the accounts contents have probably been deleted if unused in 3 months or 1 month on hotmail.

egghead said:
the accounts contents have probably been deleted if unused in 3 months or 1 month on hotmail.

Not if the parents could get a legal order blocking yahoo from deleting it until after the case is over.


Double O Egghead
but what if he was in service for 4 months? does yahoo save the emails or do they get deleted after 3 months of inactivity?

hotmail wipes the account but lets you keep your email address if you log in after a month or so
As far As I know the emails are deleted from your emailbox after three months with yahoo but if the parents would have filed for and gotten a court order to prevent yahoo from emptying the account then they'd have to keep it all somewhere till the court order expired. Plus we have to concider what yahoo's policy is when someone files a case in court to get access to a deceased family member's account. Cuz they may just keep all the files just incase they'd need them.


Double O Egghead
yahoo must be nervous. if they are required to store and catalogue everyones email and store it for a year or more it would be a huge expense


Debiant by way of Ubuntu
two easy answers

there are two easy answers here:-

The Marine knew he was entering and armed conflict, right? So if he was sensible, and I betcha the US Army helps with this, he had a will. So if he wants to he can easily enclose his password in that with instructions for it's use, oir otherwise.

That is the "proper" solution IMHO.

Then again.... If I were the parents there is no way I would have really gone for the high profile publicity on this one... BUT maybe I would have openned up the details I had to the hacking community.... I am prepared to hazard a guess the password could have been forthcoming in days.... IMHO the parents did not truly want it - and somehow this will have interfered with their grieving process - making it bad news all around.

So the lesson is consider your data when you die also!
well if the child was younger i wouldve said his parents should have the right to demand such information.
but he was 20 so i have to say i agree with yahoo, and what if the guy hated his parents and wrote emails to friends about it, that would be a nice suprise for mum and dad!


Double O Egghead
Elektro Slime said:
well if the child was younger i wouldve said his parents should have the right to demand such information.
most kids lie or give false info when opening an account so how will Yahoo know that these people are really the parents of the person who lied about his age as being an adult so they can have an email account.

yahoo should restrict the ages and kids should use something like disney mail.

to be honest, I think third party email should be made available to the deceased parents so they can grief.

this is such a tough topic.

Son Goku

No lover of dogma
Well if one wanted to interject several what ifs in this such as the parents getting a court order to retain the data; the person in question was also a marine who died in a battle zone. Depending on the intended recipient (a fellow military buddy?), some of the emails might contain information in which not only did the soldier not intend for it to be released, but the military wouldn't want to become public "in the interests of national security". If it ever came down to an argument like that, one could be assured the military wouldn't sit down without a fight. Then again, the article also says that all letters which would have been recieved are sent along, and all letters which were intended for sending would be delivered to their target. No mention was given to making sure no sensitive information is contained in there, though I at least would expect the military would have something in place in cases where a current operation contains secret info they'd rather not get out...

In either case, I wouldn't want my parents to know everything about myself. I'm just not that public of a person and tbh am a tad reserved. If I want someone to know something about myself, I'll tell them. If I were missing but showed up at a latter time (OK this guy is deceased, but bare with me), I'd probably be a tad bit annoyed. Annoyed enough to return it to the courts and argue against the former rulling? Not sure, though by that point, the damage would already have been done.

In the case of someone over 18, I'd definitely say no, it's confidential.

Under the age of 18, I'd largely say the same thing except with certain provisions. AKA, if the child is missing and the contents of a given email could be of assistance in finding them...then in that selected case with that selected email, OK. A judgement call would have to be made, but things that look to be secrets shared among friends that have nothing to do with locating them, I wouldn't just release.

Another such case could be if information there might be needed to save their life...

Course, in these cases, someone would have to review it to determine what should be released and what shouldn't... That might or might not be an issue for some kids.

There are other ways one can keep things confidential. In another forum I remember reading of one teenager (I guess) who had problems with extremly nosey parents. People suggested they keep their diary or what not in Kanji. (OK this was an anime forum...and it isn't beyond reason some peeps might not learn Japanese there, as I'm actually doing to watch some of the original shows without needing the sub-titles.)

Thing is, for kids it can be relatively easy to learn a new language. In childhood, the areas of the brain responsible for language skills are still forming... For adults, one can learn a new language, but it can also be a bit more difficult then in childhood. If an adult's only language is English, learning something like Kanji (which would be like hierophyphics where each kanji represents an idea and not a grouping of letters would probably taking some adjustment). I've been told by higher level Japanese students that one would need to learn about 60,000 kanji to be fluent.

In my case, I ended up needing to take Japanese 101 over again (at 32 now, it was a bit difficult at first), though this second time I did quite well and have hit a point where the difficulty seems to be gone and it just suddenly became easier about a month ago or so... I guess I just needed to get a certain foundation down, then the rest could just come to me. At first, it wasn't quite the same as being exposed as a kid and just naturally picking it up however... I haven't learned kanji yet, but I imagine by the time a parent would learn this, the kid would be much older...

Members online

No members online now.

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

Hello, is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me ...
What a long strange trip it's been. =)

Forum statistics

Latest member