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German court denies mother access to dead daughter's FB data

Associated Press logo Associated Press 31/05/2017
Outside view of the Berlin regional court photographed Wednesday, May 31, 2017. The regional court in Berlin has rejected a mother’s suit to access the Facebook data of her dead daughter saying the privacy of correspondence outweighs the parental rights. The mother wanted to get access to her daughter’s Facebook account after she died in a subway accident in Berlin in 2012, because it wasn’t clear if the 15-year-old had committed suicide or if it was a fatal accident. (Britta Pedersen/dpa via AP) © The Associated Press Outside view of the Berlin regional court photographed Wednesday, May 31, 2017. The regional court in Berlin has rejected a mother’s suit to access the Facebook data of her dead daughter saying the privacy of correspondence outweighs the parental rights. The mother wanted to get access to her daughter’s Facebook account after she died in a subway accident in Berlin in 2012, because it wasn’t clear if the 15-year-old had committed suicide or if it was a fatal accident. (Britta Pedersen/dpa via AP)

BERLIN — A Berlin court has denied a mother access to her deceased daughter's Facebook data, ruling German privacy laws outweigh her parental rights.

The mother sued for access to her daughter's Facebook account after the 15-year-old died after being hit by a subway train in 2012 to try and determine if it was an accident or if she took her own life.

The regional court said Wednesday that the mother's wish was understandable, but that granting it would set a dangerous precedent.

Facebook welcomed the decision, but says it will try to find a solution "that helps the family and at the same time protects the privacy of third parties."

The mother can appeal.

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