Promoting your business

Digital life: key concerns for digital assets

We often do not realise what actually makes up our digital life.

Our digital assets not only refers to social media accounts, storage accounts, and cryptocurrency, but can also be our creations of entertainment, training, market research, and business process engineering.

As a business owner, there are many questions surrounding digital assets management (DAM) and what responsibilities one needs to take. For instance, “Who takes control of the digital assets if the owner becomes mentally incapacitated or passes away?”, “Should there be digital assets in a will?”, and “What are the different areas of law that we are talking about in relation to these digital assets?”

The list below outlines a range of different laws that might be involved with your digital assets holdings. These laws have varying uses with notes explaining what they may include for the digital space or how they might be amended in the future.

Interpretations Act 1987 (NSW)

Now includes digitally stored information

Contract law

Service agreement enforceable under law to impede a family members access

Private international law

Restricts access

Criminal law

Prohibits the ‘unauthorised access’ to restricted information and data

Privacy law

Does not protect the personal information and not extended to include information of deceased persons

Property law

The term ‘digital assets’ does not match what the law defines as property in commonwealth and state law

Copyright law

Service agreements often restrict the IP rights of users, which can affect entitlements of successors.

Succession law

Whether a person owns digital assets as their ‘property’ depends on the service agreements

Estate Admin law

Access to digital assets limited for executors and administrators depending on the service agreements.

The digital space can be very tricky to navigate and our laws are still catching up to our requirements. Professional advice is often required to break down the complexity of terms and discuss the practical application of policies in business.

Every day, our modern digital existence grows more complex, with businesses facing legal repercussions and liabilities if they do not follow the correct procedure. 

No matter how big or small the business, each digital manager must recognise the ethics of technology and take digital responsibility for their actions and deeds.

It’s just a matter of figuring out how.  

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