Saturday, January 15, 2011

Is There Such a Thing as Social Network Privilege? « Law, Technology & Arts Blog

In Is There Such a Thing as Social Network Privilege? « Law, Technology & Arts Blog, Nov. 4, 2010, Susuk Lim discusses a personal injury case in which "a Pennsylvania court not only concluded that information posted on one’s profile lacked protection, but that login credentials to the profiles themselves are not confidential." I've seen lots of articles about litigators using Facebook and other sites, but I hadn't seen discovery of the other party's passwords in order to read them. Interesting.

1 comment:

R.A.M. said...

I too have seen Facebook posts used at trial, at least in the context of impeaching a witness on cross. This latest development is actually not as surprising to me as I thought it was going to be when I first read the headline.

The mere fact that Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter, among others, are referred to as "social networking" sites should raise awareness to everyone using the websites that items posted are for public consumption, even where a user has limited who may view posts to a friend's list. I found it interesting that the judge referenced site operators being able to view the information as a justification that barred confidentiality. I think it would have been easier to reference the (lack of) confidentiality available for emails, which, since this is an integrated item in many social networking sites, makes this an easy comparison.

The bottom line is that if you want to prevent information from being discoverable, you'd be wise to do yourself a favor and not write that piece of information down or post it on Facebook.