In continuation of the concerns that Naavi.org has expressed regarding the need to recognize and document the transfer of digital assets of deceased data principals, Cyber Evidence Archival Center (CEAC) which is a division of Ujvala Consultants Private Limited has started with immediate effect a “Repository Service for written instructions regarding disposal of digital assets on the death of a data principal”.
It is to be noted that in India, “Will in electronic form” is not recognized. Any instruction that relates to an action to be undertaken on the death of a person will have the character of a testamentary statement and hence cannot be expressed in the form of digital documents such as e-mails.
At the same time, a proper will needs to be witnessed and registered. It needs to contain some basic information. There are many websites from which a format of will can be obtained.
This repository service is meant for people who want to state their digital holdings and ensure that they can be claimed by the legal heirs. At FDPPI we are working on some suggestions to be given to the Government and we hope in due course Government may introduce a valid system of nomination of digital assets. However the increasing number of deaths caused by Covid indicate that we need a service as envisaged immediately.
Under the process, CEAC will receive paper based instructions written in own handwriting (Not type written) indicating the name and address of the person along with the details of the digital assets such as (E Mail account, Facebook account, etc), through a sealed cover sent through registered post (With acknowledgement and also confirmation over e-mail) with a marking indicating “For Digital Asset Disposal Repository”. The cover would not be opened and would be deposited in a Bank locker.
The deposit will be charged a fee. Current proposed fee is Rs 500/- per deposit and needs to be renewed annually.
The retrieval will be subject to the process suggested under CLCC which is subject to fine tuning and will also be charged. At the time of retrieval, the cover would be opened in front of the claimant and a legal representative of the claimant and information contained there in would be provided so that further legal process of adding the digital assets in the succession certificate application can be made. The retrieval charge proposed now is Rs 1000/-
CEAC would not be responsible for the instructions not being considered as a valid will.
This is a service which would be in operation until a more formal arrangement may evolve with changes in law.
At present CEAC reserves the right to stop the service completely any time after 2 years.
More details can be obtained by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org