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Facebook changes privacy policy for deceased users' accounts

updated 02:15 pm EST, Sat February 22, 2014

Memorialized profiles to be remembered as-is

After a recent public call for Facebook to allow a family access to a deceased family member's "Look Back" video, the company has decided to re-evaluate how it deals with profiles left behind after death. In a statement from the company, new policy changes are outlined on how profiles are handled in their memorializing process. Accounts will now be left as-is instead of being restricted to a friends-only status.

Previously, when a memorializing request was filed with the social media company, profiles were locked down by a change in privacy settings. Settings were set so that the profiles could only be seen by Facebook friends of the user's account at the time the request was made. Once a request was made, no logins were allowed on the account -- while content posted by the deceased person would remain on the site.

The updated policy will now leave the privacy settings on an account as they was last set by the user to "allow people to see memorialized profiles in a manner consistent with the deceased person's expectations of privacy." The statement goes on to say that the company is "respecting the choices a person made in life while giving their extended community of family and friends ongoing visibility to the same content they could always see."

The 10-year anniversary "Look Back" videos that helped bring about the change in policy have also been opened up to requests for those who wish the company to create a video of their deceased loved ones based on their timeline. Facebook had not previously made videos for memorialized accounts.

by MacNN Staff



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