Apple must grant the heirs of a dead iCloud user access to its account. This has been decided by the district court of Münster. The relatives hope that the data stored in the iCloud will provide insights into the reasons for the death of the Apple customer. Photos, e-mails and other documents can be stored in the iCloud (Ref .: 014 O 565/18).
According to the lawyers of the heirs, the father died during a trip abroad. Apple has rejected the desire of relatives to gain access to the data stored in the iCloud out of court.
Apple did not want to comment on the case. According to experts in the past, the Group has also allowed the heirs access to iCloud data of the deceased without trial in similar cases. The submission of a certificate of inheritance was sufficient. In other cases, a court order was necessary for the heirs to have access.
Last July, the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) had ruled in principle that even personal contents in the network basically fall to the heirs. There is no reason to treat digital content differently from letters or diaries (Az III ZR 183/17). The case involved the Facebook account of a 15-year-old who had fallen in front of a subway in late 2012 in Berlin. The parents wanted to clarify with the help of Facebook data, whether their daughter has committed suicide or has crashed. With the judgment of the district court Münster the BGH decision is transferred to other online services.