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Death & Divorce in the Digital World Elly Parker

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Presentation on theme: "Death & Divorce in the Digital World Elly Parker"— Presentation transcript:

1 Death & Divorce in the Digital World Elly Parker

2 2 Death & Divorce in the Digital World In this new technological age, we are only beginning to notice some recently emerging issues caused by deaths and divorces amongst both geek and non-geek couples and singles. Nearly everyone these days has large amounts of personal information stored online, whether this is their own websites and complex businesses down to simply e-mail and internet banking at the lower end of the spectrum. In previous days, when a loved one died it was simply a case of notifying the relevant businesses (banking, service companies, etc) and details of savings and other important possessions were most often held with a solicitor or detailed in the person’s will. So what are these new issues and the affects that they are having?

3 3 Let’s start with divorce… There are 2 types of divorce in this world, amicable and complete shafting. Even in the case of an amicable divorce, decisions need to be made regarding the dispersal of digital information and equipment: Shared e-mail accounts Online calendars Online subscriptions Expensive PC’s and Display Screens VOIP numbers HTPC recordings / VOD accounts Online DVD rental accounts Blogs – Advertising revenue Digital Photographs Gaming Console profiles (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii) Intellectual Property

4 4 Divorce continued… In the case of a less than amicable divorce or separation, there have already been recorded examples of cyber-stalking or harassing. An aggrieved ex-partner can easily post compromising photos or videos online within a matter of minutes, or blog private information that will be forever linked to the victim’s name – which could be easily stumbled upon by a future prospective partner or employer. Case Study 1: John Breslin – Cloudlands – Cyberstalking in IrelandCloudlandsCyberstalking in Ireland Ex-romantic partners may happen on anonymous posts and read something that made them realise who the original poster was, or they find posts in which they or later partners are mentioned, and then regurgitate sensitive bits to mutual friends. Work colleagues may find some personal tidbit about someone which will quickly make its way around the office. Or someone might just be obsessed.

5 5 Case Study 2: Julie Bindel – Guardian – Men who harass their exes’ on the internetGuardianMen who harass their exes’ on the internet Immediately after ending their relationship, she had been bombarded with sexually explicit text messages and photographs on her mobile phone. Worse was to come. She soon discovered that her details had been posted on a website aimed at cross- dressers and sado-masochists, where she had been advertised as being "available for sexual services”. When Sophie started getting emails from her ex-partner, Simon, saying things such as, "Oh, you saw so-and-so and went to that bar at that time, did you?", she realised he was tracking her movements through information she had written on her personal blog. "Simon knew I had been raped when I was 13, although he insisted on calling it 'surprise sex'. He discovered my email address and password and then would subscribe me to really violent rape sites." One woman who responded to a request I posted on an anti-stalking website told me that her ex-husband posted her name and address on a website used to meet sexual partners, posing as her, and offering "group sex with her". "It was really scary," she tells me in an email, "because when I read the posting it said I like to act out rape fantasies, so men in twos and threes should break into the house, have sex with me and ignore my screams of terror, as that is all part of the game."

6 6 And now on to death… In addition to dealing with the usual stress associated with the death of a loved one, we can now have the additional hassle of trying to retrieve online (protected) information. Some points to consider: Passwords for PC’s/laptops (inc. HDD password) – often changed regularly Instant Messenger Identities E-mail accounts - notification of ‘online’ friends, passwords Online banking details Blogs – keep alive or take offline, notification of readers I e-mailed Gmail’s support team and asked them now one might go about procuring the password of a deceased loved one – no reply! Question: Does social networking aid in notifying a circle of friends?

7 7 A quick sample…

8 8

9 9 The password issue… With thanks to Will for providing this research info from the ‘Security Now!’ podcast:WillSecurity Now! Today, while alive, I don’t want to give my sensitive stuff or passwords to anyone, including my wife. But when I eventually die or become very ill, I need to make sure that my family has access. But I know my wife wouldn’t be able to figure it out to save her life. If I have TrueCrypted all of my data, have complex unguessable password schemes and so forth, how do I unwind all of that for the benefit of other people I care about in my life? So what you could do would be give to your attorney who has your will, or in a safety deposit box, something where access will be granted in the event of something bad happening to you without your taking any action. Here’s what I’m thinking is that you separate the information out. So one of the things TrueCrypt lets you do is have an image file and a password. You need both; right? Maybe give the attorney the password, maybe even put it in your will, and store the image file in a safety deposit box. Separate the two, to be opened on your death or whatever.

10 10 Questions?

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