When Lars Jakobsson, the retired accommodation in Hägersten, in december 2018 received an email from Facebook which urged him to reply to an unknown ”friend's” message about the dogs he was very surprised. Not least because he himself had never had a dog.
Lars Jakobsson ignored the e-mails because he had opted out of Facebook in the past. He got reluctantly to an account in the middle of the 00's, when he worked as a teacher in the school and wanted to show that he hung with. Pretty soon he realized that social media was not for him and shut down his account.
after the first email from Facebook in 2018, he received another e-mail telling him to log on to the account. Lars Jakobsson made an attempt but failed, his old password did not match.
Then he got another email from Facebook with the text: ”Hey Lars! We have detected that you have problems with logging into your account. If you want help, you can click on the button below, we log you in.”
As Lars Jakobssons name was printed in the e-mail he clicked on the ”button” and logged the unsuspecting in on Facebook. Once inside on the timeline, he noticed that all was not right. The timeline was filled with messages to a deceased person. It turned out that he ended up on a deceased man's account, with the same name as himself.
”the Loss is large after a go buddy, hope you get cake in heaven”, it was in one of them.
"It felt too damn quite simply, it is completely absurd that it even can be done," says Lars.
it is understood that he ended up in an account that belonged to a deceased man, he contacted Facebook.
”You have given me a deceased user's account, please remove me from all of what Facebook called” I wrote. When they see that they placed a deceased's person, in the wrong hands so they should react, but I don't think they read the message at all, " says Lars.
Lars has still not received any response from Facebook but has continued to receive e-mail from Facebook that calls on him to be more active on the deceased man's account.
however, be an explanation as to why Lars got access to the deceased man's Facebook, he switched namely, e-mail address, in 2018.
Lars started up a new mejlkonto of their broadband provider Comhem in February 2018, when his previous isp, Algonet shut down their mejlservrar.
Everything worked fine with the new e-mails and he had no indications that anything was wrong – until he got the e-mails with invitations from Facebook.
regular out automated reminders to inactive users to activate them, to the email address that the user started up the account with.
Lars Jakobsson heard of to Tele2 (who bought up Comhem) to get to know about his e-mails existed in someone else's possession. Of Tele2 and he was told that they do not reuse the old e-mail addresses.
– the Account must have belonged to the deceased person, because the Facebook account was started with the e-mail address. I could not dream of that you could get a mejlkonto already been used and when you want to correct so it is not possible, " says Lars Jakobsson.
Louise Ekman, head of media relations at Tele2, writes in an e-mail to DN to the for privacy reasons can't provide the if Comhem address previously belonged to someone other than Lars Jakobsson. They also write that Comhem since June 2018 will no longer be offering customers to start the e-mail addresses when they sign new agreements, but that they recycle e-mail addresses of old subscribers after the 30 day quarantine.
”So long as the desired username is available, the subscriber, select the e-mail address as he wishes to. We allow, however, the username which is previously used to be put in ”quarantine” for 30 days before they become available again, for example, the search engines will be updated and the former holder shall have the time to change the e-mail address in private records,” writes Louise Ekman.
why they can not clear the e-mail addresses.
”It is impossible for us at Comhem to perform the tracking and cleanup, and it would also be a privacy violation of the us which e-mail provider, then it is only the account holder has the option to change address or break the link on the services that he or she subscribed to. ”
" We want to get in contact with Lars and help him. Our hope is that everyone can clear their account during the karantäntiden, " she says.
Anne-Marie Eklund Löwinder, head of security at internet infrastructure foundation is skeptical of karantäntiden.
– 30 days before you re-e-mail addresses can be too short considering how much there is to clear up when someone dies, and that this may not come top of the list. My personal opinion is that the time should be considerably longer, " says Anne-Marie Eklund Löwinder.
– From the Facebook page, there should be more urgent to really verify it is the correct user. The user can not the password so it is a warning signal, then you should not be able to come only with a push of a button, " she continues.
legally speaking, be seen as personal data is the law maze surrounding the case.
– the Deceased persons are not covered by the data protection regulation, which has replaced the data protection act and therefore pronounces, we are not on the case relating to them, but what I do know, we have not received any notifications about cases like this, " says Jennie Green, a lawyer at the Swedish data Inspection board.
– You may need to investigate matters such as this to see if there is a need for legislation in this area, because the deceased persons fall outside the data protection regulation, " says Anne-Marie Eklund Löwinder.
She does not know how common it is that the deceased person's accounts fall into the wrong hands, but it is interesting and may need to be investigated more.
– It would be a fantastic idea for a master thesis, or question for a scientist anywhere to find out, " she says.
Facebook has not been changed, but most of all, he has been disappointed at Comhem after the event.
– Facebook, I have always seen as something that devours everything in its path and suck up information that they then sell. And it is absolutely incomprehensible that someone at Comhem says that it is enough with a 30-day quarantine, " says Lars Jakobsson.
the DN contacted Facebook about how they handle deceased accounts and received the following reply:
”If we have not received another notification from the profile owner, it is our policy that a deceased person's profile is going to be converted into a memorial page as soon as we become aware of the death. Memory pages are usually popular among the deceased person's friends and family as an aid to remember. We encourage, in general, people on Facebook to use the tools we offer to control what happens to their profile when they go away, for example, by selecting what we refer to as a ”surviving contact person”. When the page is converted to a memory location, will this person have the ability to change individual settings, draw the messages on the page, if the time and place of the funeral and the like. You can also ask us to delete my profile after you have passed away, and we respect that desire,” writes Facebook's nordic head of communications, Peter Münster.