This post has been authored by Purbasha Panda and Lokesh Mewara, fourth and fifth years from NLU Ranchi. It discusses the data protection laws for deceased individuals, and the legal justifications for post-mortem privacy.
Post-mortem privacy is defined as the right of a person to preserve and control what formulates his/her reputation after death. It is inherently linked with the idea of dignity after death. The first type of opinion with respect to post-mortem privacy raises the question of how there can be a threat to the reputation of a person if he no longer exists. However, there is another school of thought which argues that when a person’s public persona or reputation is harmed after death, he might not be defamed but the ante-mortem person could. Another question that comes up, is that when a person dies, does the interest of the dead person that survives become the interest of others or is it actually his interests alone that are protected or is it both the possible scenarios?