Thursday, December 29, 2011

New York Facebook privacy questions

To go along with our post yesterday about Twitter account ownership, MSN Business this morning’s reporting a New York appeals court’s determining there are limits to how much proof of employee shenanigans a business can legally gather from sites like Facebook.

In this instance a New York appeals court determined last October (decision) that there were limits to how much proof of employee shenanigans a business could legally gather from social media utilities such as Facebook. The Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court ruled that commercial builder Turner Construction Co. should not have a free hand in searching the Facebook activity of an employee who was seeking compensation in a personal injury suit against the company. The company was attempting to use information from the employee's Facebook account to show that he was not being truthful about the extent of his injuries.

“Though disparate in the level to which social media activities are admissible as evidence in a legal proceeding,” MSN’s article notes, “one thing that's for sure is that social media utilities and what we post on them have wide implications. Specifically, these cases point to the emerging role social media utilities are taking in regard to civil suits, with some courts granting greater access to what was once considered private information on a social media site.

“And if you need more of a reason to pay attention to cases that involve social media, keep in mind that civil law is established through court precedents — that is, previous court decisions like those mentioned above. So don't think for a moment that rulings in faraway states won't impact your case in California or Illinois or wherever it is you do business…”


Starsifter said...

A serious issue which should be addressed by legislature in the near future. There is no reason to think, simply because the information is out there that is can used in; any and all instances. Privacy statutes need to be strengthened rather than continually torn apart as they systematically have been in recent times. Change this one vote at a time. Check out who is running for congress and senate, so you can make an informed decision about who you want representing you in the great state of Ohio:

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